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Morphology-induced hydrophobic behavior of electrospun polyhydroxyalkanoate membranes

  • Maraolina Domínguez-Díaz (a1) (a2), Angel Romo-Uribe (a1), Araceli Flores (a3) and Rodolfo Cruz-Silva (a2)

Biodegradable poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) -PHB- and the copolymers with poly (3-hydroxyvalerate) -PHB/HV, containing 5 and 12 mol% valerate (denoted PHB/5HV and PHB/12HV, respectively) were electrospun from chloroform solution at room temperature. The results showed that relatively low voltage and concentrations favored uniform filament formation in PHB, with filament diameters ranging from 3 to 7 micrometers. On the other hand, low molecular weight and low solution concentration favored uniform filament formation in the PHB/5HV copolymer. Strikingly, morphology of filaments and beads favored the membranes hydrophobic behavior; the membrane from PHB/12HV exhibited a water contact angle of 112°. In contrast, solution cast films from the PHAs exhibited water contact angles in the range of 65°. Analyses on the membranes morphology via scanning electron microscopy (SEM) revealed that filament diameter drives the degree of porosity and the hydrophobic behavior of the electrospun membranes.

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