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Optimization of Electrospinning Parameters and Evaluation of the Physical Properties of the Electrospun chitosan Antimicrobial Fibers

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  2022 ASABE Annual International Meeting  2200509.(doi:10.13031/aim.202200509)
Authors:   Edwin O Ochieng, Lamin S Kassama, Joongmin Shin
Keywords:   Electrospinning, Antimicrobial, Chitosan, Hydrolysis, Consistency

Abstract. Electrospinning (EN) is a versatile process that utilizes electrically charged jet of a polymer solution and atomizing it into a substrate of nano fibers. Parameters such as viscosity, molar mass, electrical conductivity, and surface tension of the polymer solution affect the EN process. Chitosan (CS) is a biodegradable and biocompatible polymer with antibacterial and antioxidant properties. The cationic structure of chitosan and the inherent apparent viscosity even at low concentration influences the hydrodynamics properties of the electrospinning solution. CS structure can be modulated chemically by increasing the degree of acetylation and the amino acid content to enhance spinnability. Thus, the objective of this study was to investigate the effect of chemical hydrolysis on the viscosity, and spinnability of chitosan solution, and the antibacterial properties of the film. Medium molecular weight of CS was hydrolyzed with NaOH at 90C for 12, 24, 36, and 48 h. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) was used to analyze the molecular structure, while the apparent viscosity was determined with a Brookfield viscometer. The morphology of the electrospun fiber were determined using SEM. The antimicrobial properties of the film were tested against E. coli and Salmonella using the disc diffusion method. The FTIR results showed that hydrolysis does not have an effect on the molecular structure of chitosan. However, increase period of hydrolysis (HT) significantly (p < 0.05) decreased the apparently viscosity of the CS solution. Hence, with consistency index 55857±37 Pa s for unhydrolyzed CH solution compared to 35972 ± 68, 28657 ± 91, 2232 ± 84, and 2002 ± 61 pa s hydrolyzed for 12, 24, 36 and 48 h, respectively. The CH solution generally exhibited pseudo-plastic (n<1) behavior and the Power law model was found to be the best fit (CoF= 96.3). An inverse correlation between the electrical conductivity with viscosity was also observed. SEM data has shown 36 h to be the optimum hydrolysis period, while no effect on the antibacterial properties was observed.

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