M Enamul Hoque, Thayabaran Ramasamy and Tamrin Nuge
Electrospinning has drawn great attention in the fabrication of nanofibre matrix that applies electrostatic potential to draw molten polymer jet as nanofibre onto a collector. This study aims at fabricating hybrid Polycaprolactone (PCL)/Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) nanofibre matrix for regenerative therapies. To optimize the electrospinning system, the effects of various process parameters (e.g. polymer solution concentration, polymer solution flow rate, power supply voltage and collector distance) on the efficacy of the nanofibre were investigated. The process parameters directly influenced the efficacy of the nanofibre, and the optimized values of the parameters were found to be polymer solution concentration of 10 wt% PCL and PEG each component, polymer solution flow rate of 8 ml/h, power supply voltage of 21 kv and collector distance of 14 cm. The thermal properties (e.g. melting temperature, Tm and melting enthalpy, J/g) of the polymers (before and after electrospinning) were also determined through Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) and Thermo-gravimetric Analysis (TGA) to study whether the electrospinning process change the thermal properties of the polymers. It was observed that the electrospinning process rendered to increase both the melting temperature and melting enthalpy of the polymers. The preliminary results demonstrate the suitability of electrospinning system to fabricate hybrid PCL/PEG nanofibre matrix, and also offers the potential of developing hybrid nanofibre matrix which could better meet the structural and functional requirements of living tissues for regenerative therapies.