Characterization of polydioxanone in near-field electrospinning


Electrospinning is a popular method for creating random, non-woven fibrous templates for biomedical applications, and a subtype technique termed near-field electrospinning (NFES) was devised by reducing the air gap distance to millimeters. This decreased working distance paired with precise translational motion between the fiber source and collector allows for the direct writing of fibers. We demonstrate a near-field electrospinning device designed from a MakerFarm Prusa i3v three-dimensional (3D) printer to write polydioxanone (PDO) microfibers. PDO fiber diameters were characterized over the processing parameters: Air gap, polymer concentration, translational velocity, needle gauge, and applied voltage. Fiber crystallinity and individual fiber uniformity were evaluated for the polymer concentration and translational fiber deposition velocity. Fiber stacking was evaluated for the creation of 3D templates to guide the alignment of human gingival fibroblasts. The fiber diameters correlated positively with polymer concentration, applied voltage, and needle gauge; and inversely correlated with translational velocity and air gap distance. Individual fiber diameter variability decreases, and crystallinity increases with increasing translational fiber deposition velocity. These data resulted in the creation of tailored PDO 3D templates, which guided the alignment of primary human fibroblast cells. Together, these results suggest that NFES of PDO can be scaled to create precise geometries with tailored fiber diameters for biomedical applications.

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