Date of Graduation

Spring 2015

Document Type

Honors Research Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Major

Chemical Engineering

Research Sponsor

Dr. Judit Puskas

First Reader

Dr. Bi-min Zhang Newby

Second Reader

Dr. Edward Evans

Abstract

Surfactants are useful in electrospinning to help improve the fiber morphology. Crocin is a naturally occurring biosurfactant from saffron that is highly soluble in water. By electrospinning a biocompatible polymer, such as polyethylene oxide (PEO) and Crocin, one can improve the fiber morphology. A systematic study of PEO was conducted by varying the voltage, flow rate, and gap distance. The viscosity of the solution was determined using a viscometer and the surface tension was determined using the pendant drop method. Fiber morphology was examined using SEM and fiber diameters were determined using ImageJ to measure the fibers in the SEM images. These solutions were spun and the fiber diameter and were analyzed and compared to the PEO spun at the same conditions. The results showed that the Crocin reduced the fiber diameter by 31%±1% for the sample spun at 20 kV and 37%±0.5% for the sample spun at 25 kV and improved the fiber morphology by producing smoother fibers. Future work would focus on further characterization of the electrospun Crocin and PEO fibers and identifying whether the Crocin resides on the surface of the fiber or within the fiber.

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