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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 475280, 13 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/475280
Research Article

Emulsion Electrospinning as an Approach to Fabricate PLGA/Chitosan Nanofibers for Biomedical Applications

1Department of Textile Engineering, Center of Excellence in Applied Nanotechnology, Isfahan University of Technology, Isfahan 84156-83111, Iran
2Department of Materials Chemistry, Uppsala University, 75121 Uppsala, Sweden
3Department of Engineering Sciences, Applied Materials Science, Uppsala University, 75121 Uppsala, Sweden
4Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Division of Molecular Physics, Linkoping University, 58183 Linkoping, Sweden
5Department of Industrial and Environmental Biotechnology, National Institute of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Tehran 14965-161, Iran

Received 16 April 2013; Revised 19 December 2013; Accepted 27 December 2013; Published 13 February 2014

Academic Editor: Ulrich Kneser

Copyright © 2014 Fatemeh Ajalloueian et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Novel nanofibers from blends of polylactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA) and chitosan have been produced through an emulsion electrospinning process. The spinning solution employed polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) as the emulsifier. PVA was extracted from the electrospun nanofibers, resulting in a final scaffold consisting of a blend of PLGA and chitosan. The fraction of chitosan in the final electrospun mat was adjusted from 0 to 33%. Analyses by scanning and transmission electron microscopy show uniform nanofibers with homogenous distribution of PLGA and chitosan in their cross section. Infrared spectroscopy verifies that electrospun mats contain both PLGA and chitosan. Moreover, contact angle measurements show that the electrospun PLGA/chitosan mats are more hydrophilic than electrospun mats of pure PLGA. Tensile strengths of 4.94 MPa and 4.21 MPa for PLGA/chitosan in dry and wet conditions, respectively, illustrate that the polyblend mats of PLGA/chitosan are strong enough for many biomedical applications. Cell culture studies suggest that PLGA/chitosan nanofibers promote fibroblast attachment and proliferation compared to PLGA membranes. It can be assumed that the nanofibrous composite scaffold of PLGA/chitosan could be potentially used for skin tissue reconstruction.