Mateusz M. Marzec

Abstracts

2 The Impact of Electrospinning Parameters on Surface Morphology and Chemistry of PHBV Fibers

Authors: Urszula Stachewicz, Mateusz M. Marzec, Andrzej Bernasik, Lukasz Kaniuk

Abstract:

Electrospinning is one of the commonly used methods to produce micro- or nano-fibers. The properties of electrospun fibers allow them to be used to produce tissue scaffolds, biodegradable bandages, or purification membranes. The morphology of the obtained fibers depends on the composition of the polymer solution as well as the processing parameters. Interesting properties such as high fiber porosity can be achieved by changing humidity during electrospinning. Moreover, by changing voltage polarity in electrospinning, we are able to alternate functional groups at the surface of fibers. In this study, electrospun fibers were made of natural, thermoplastic polyester – PHBV (poly(3-hydroxybutyric acid-co-3-hydrovaleric acid). The fibrous mats were obtained using both positive and negative voltage polarities, and their surface was characterized using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS, Ulvac-Phi, Chigasaki, Japan). Furthermore, the effect of the humidity on surface morphology was investigated using scanning electron microscopy (SEM, Merlin Gemini II, Zeiss, Germany). Electrospun PHBV fibers produced with positive and negative voltage polarity had similar morphology and the average fiber diameter, 2.47 ± 0.21 µm and 2.44 ± 0.15 µm, respectively. The change of the voltage polarity had a significant impact on the reorientation of the carbonyl groups what consequently changed the surface potential of the electrospun PHBV fibers. The increase of humidity during electrospinning causes porosity in the surface structure of the fibers. In conclusion, we showed within our studies that the process parameters such as humidity and voltage polarity have a great influence on fiber morphology and chemistry, changing their functionality. Surface properties of polymer fiber have a significant impact on cell integration and attachment, which is very important in tissue engineering. The possibility of changing surface porosity allows the use of fibers in various tissue engineering and drug delivery systems. Acknowledgment: This study was conducted within 'Nanofiber-based sponges for atopic skin treatment' project., carried out within the First TEAM programme of the Foundation for Polish Science co-financed by the European Union under the European Regional Development Fund, project no POIR.04.04.00-00- 4571/18-00.

Keywords: surface characterization, cells integration, electrospun fiber, PHBV

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1 Tailoring Piezoelectricity of PVDF Fibers with Voltage Polarity and Humidity in Electrospinning

Authors: Urszula Stachewicz, Piotr K. Szewczyk, Arkadiusz Gradys, Sungkyun Kim, Luana Persano, Mateusz M. Marzec, Oleksander Kryshtal, Andrzej Bernasik, Sohini Kar-Narayan, Pawel Sajkiewicz

Abstract:

Piezoelectric polymers have received great attention in smart textiles, wearables, and flexible electronics. Their potential applications range from devices that could operate without traditional power sources, through self-powering sensors, up to implantable biosensors. Semi-crystalline PVDF is often proposed as the main candidate for industrial-scale applications as it exhibits exceptional energy harvesting efficiency compared to other polymers combined with high mechanical strength and thermal stability. Plenty of approaches have been proposed for obtaining PVDF rich in the desired β-phase with electric polling, thermal annealing, and mechanical stretching being the most prevalent. Electrospinning is a highly tunable technique that provides a one-step process of obtaining highly piezoelectric PVDF fibers without the need for post-treatment. In this study, voltage polarity and relative humidity influence on electrospun PVDF, fibers were investigated with the main focus on piezoelectric β-phase contents and piezoelectric performance. Morphology and internal structure of fibers were investigated using scanning (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy techniques (TEM). Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FITR), wide-angle X-ray scattering (WAXS) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) were used to characterize the phase composition of electrospun PVDF. Additionally, surface chemistry was verified with X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). Piezoelectric performance of individual electrospun PVDF fibers was measured using piezoresponse force microscopy (PFM), and the power output from meshes was analyzed via custom-built equipment. To prepare the solution for electrospinning, PVDF pellets were dissolved in dimethylacetamide and acetone solution in a 1:1 ratio to achieve a 24% solution. Fibers were electrospun with a constant voltage of +/-15kV applied to the stainless steel nozzle with the inner diameter of 0.8mm. The flow rate was kept constant at 6mlh⁻¹. The electrospinning of PVDF was performed at T = 25°C and relative humidity of 30 and 60% for PVDF30+/- and PVDF60+/- samples respectively in the environmental chamber. The SEM and TEM analysis of fibers produced at a lower relative humidity of 30% (PVDF30+/-) showed a smooth surface in opposition to fibers obtained at 60% relative humidity (PVDF60+/-), which had wrinkled surface and additionally internal voids. XPS results confirmed lower fluorine content at the surface of PVDF- fibers obtained by electrospinning with negative voltage polarity comparing to the PVDF+ obtained with positive voltage polarity. Changes in surface composition measured with XPS were found to influence the piezoelectric performance of obtained fibers what was further confirmed by PFM as well as by custom-built fiber-based piezoelectric generator. For PVDF60+/- samples humidity led to an increase of β-phase contents in PVDF fibers as confirmed by FTIR, WAXS, and DSC measurements, which showed almost two times higher concentrations of β-phase. A combination of negative voltage polarity with high relative humidity led to fibers with the highest β-phase contents and the best piezoelectric performance of all investigated samples. This study outlines the possibility to produce electrospun PVDF fibers with tunable piezoelectric performance in a one-step electrospinning process by controlling relative humidity and voltage polarity conditions. Acknowledgment: This research was conducted within the funding from m the Sonata Bis 5 project granted by National Science Centre, No 2015/18/E/ST5/00230, and supported by the infrastructure at International Centre of Electron Microscopy for Materials Science (IC-EM) at AGH University of Science and Technology. The PFM measurements were supported by an STSM Grant from COST Action CA17107.

Keywords: Electrospinning, Crystallinity, PVDF, voltage polarity

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