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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2015, Article ID 803937, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/803937
Research Article

Fabrication and Properties of High-Content Keratin/Poly (Ethylene Oxide) Blend Nanofibers Using Two-Step Cross-Linking Process

1Key Laboratory of Advanced Textile Composites, Ministry of Education, School of Textiles, Tianjin Polytechnic University, 399 West Binshui Road, Tianjin 300387, China
2National Engineering Laboratory for Modern Silk, College of Textile and Clothing Engineering, Soochow University, Suzhou 215123, China
3Tianjin Medical University Cancer Institute and Hospital, Huanhuxi Road, Hexi District, Tianjin 300060, China
4Department of Textiles, Zhejiang Fashion Institute of Technology, 495 Fenghua Road, Ningbo, Zhejiang Province 31521, China
5School of Science, Tianjin Polytechnic University, 399 West Binshui Road, Tianjin 300387, China

Received 26 October 2014; Revised 6 January 2015; Accepted 6 January 2015

Academic Editor: Yuqin Wan

Copyright © 2015 Yong Liu 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

High-content keratin/poly (ethylene oxide) (PEO) (90/10) blend nanofibers were prepared by electrospinning combined with a two-step cross-linking process. The keratin/PEO aqueous solution was firstly mixed with ethylene glycol diglycidyl ether (EGDE) as cross-linker and then electrospun into nanofibers. The resulting nanofibrous mats were cross-linked with EGDE vapor to decrease the solubility of nanofibers in water. The morphologies and properties of electrospun fibers were investigated by SEM, FTIR, TG, XRD, and contact angle testing, respectively. The results showed that the morphologies of nanofibers were uniform at the fiber average diameter of 300 nm with negligible bead defects by adding EGDE to keratin/PEO solutions. The cross-linking results showed that EGDE vapor could improve the hydrophobic property of blended nanofibers. The crystallinity of the keratin/PEO blend nanofiber mat increased from 13.14% for the uncross-linked sample to 21.54% and 35.15% for the first cross-linked and second cross-linked samples, respectively. Free defect nanofiber mats with high keratin content producing from this two-step cross-linking process are particularly promising for tissue engineering and cell-seeded scaffold.