Highly Hydrophobic Electrospun Fiber Mats from Polyisobutylene-based Thermoplastic Elastomers
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.
Lim, Goy Teck; Puskas, Judit; Reneker, Darrell H.; Jakli, Antal; and Horton, Walter E. Jr., "Highly Hydrophobic Electrospun Fiber Mats from Polyisobutylene-based Thermoplastic Elastomers" (2011). Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Faculty Research. 511.