Determination of the parameters affecting electrospun chitosan fiber size distribution and morphology
The production of chitosan nanofiber mats by electrospinning presents serious difficulties due to the lack of suitable solvents and the strong influence of processing parameters on the fiber properties. Two are the main problems to be solved: to control the properties of the solution in order to obtain large area uniform fiber mats by having a stable flow rate and to avoid sparks during the process, damaging the fiber mats. In this work chitosan electrospun mats have been prepared form solutions of trifluoroacetic acid/dichloromethane mixtures, allowing solving the aforementioned problems. Mats with uniform fibers of submicron diameters without beads were obtained. Further, the influence of the different solution and process parameters on the mean fiber diameter and on the width of the distribution of the fiber sizes has been assessed. Solvent composition, needle diameter, applied voltage and traveling distance were the parameters considered in this study.