Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Faculty Research

Title

Highly Hydrophobic Electrospun Fiber Mats from Polyisobutylene-based Thermoplastic Elastomers

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

3-31-2011

Abstract

This paper is the first report of electrospinning neat polyisobutylene-based thermoplastic elastomers. Two generations of these materials are investigated: a linear poly(styrene-b-isobutylene-b-styrene) (L_SIBS) triblock copolymer and a dendritic poly(isobutylene-b-p-methylstyrene) (D_IB-MS), also a candidate for biomedical applications. Cross-polarized optical microscopy shows birefringence, indicating orientation in the electrospun fibers, which undergo large elongation and shear during electrospinning. In contrast to the circular cross section of L_SIBS fibers, D_IB-MS yields dumbbell-shaped fiber cross sections for the combination of processing conditions, molecular weight, and architecture. Hydrophobic surfaces with a water contact angle as high as 146 ± 3° were obtained with D_IB-MS that had the noncircular fiber cross section and a hierarchical arrangement of nano- to micrometer-sized fibers in the mat. These highly water repellent fiber mats were found to serve as an excellent scaffold for bovine chondrocytes to produce cartilage tissue.

Publication Title

Biomacromolecules

Volume

12

Issue

5

First Page

1795

Last Page

1799