Recent advances in fiber technology and engineering, for nano- and micro-meter scaled materials, have focused largely on developments surrounding the electrospinning (ES) technique. Although this process enables the engineering of complex fibrous structures; the inability to yield industrial scale production through existing ES techniques becomes a bottle-neck and critical feature. Furthermore, in several advanced engineering remits (such as healthcare) the role of fiber alignment, layering and morphology is also paramount. In this study the development of a enhanced spinneret device for the up-scaled production of aligned fibers is demonstrated. Compared to conventional centrifugal electrospinning (CES) techniques, a relatively greater production rate of fibers is achieved at reduced rotation speeds and also excludes the use of needles during the process. The impact of experimental process parameters such as rotation speed (60–90 rpm), working distance (9–14 cm) and solution concentration (15–30 w/v%) on resulting fiber properties were investigated using commercial polymeric drug delivery excipient polyvinyl pyrrolidone (PVP). Mass production of fibers is demonstrated and the impact of specifically aligned ultrafine drug-fiber matrices on drug release behavior is shown. For this, the antibiotic tetracycline hydrogen chloride was spun alongside PVP (5 w/w%) as the matrix material. The spinneret device provides an enhanced approach for active embedded fiber production on a scale favorable to industry (120 g/h) when using optimized process parameters (70 rpm and 15 kV for the four-pore system). Furthermore, the in-situ method permits control on fiber alignment and overall mat thickness providing tailored fabrication for specific applications or drug dosage requirements (e.g. active dissolution behavior for fibrous drug delivery systems).
Bibliographical noteMing-Wei was employed in China on the acceptance and publication dates.
The article appears on De Montfort University's Repository (https://www.dora.dmu.ac.uk/handle/2086/12859)
- Drug delivery