Ternary blends of poly(lactic acid) (PLA), polycaprolactone (PCL) and cellulose acetate butyrate (CAB) were fabricated into the form of electrospun nanofibres targeted for skin tissue scaffolds. The effects of blend ratio and molecular mass of PCL (PCL1 and PCL2) on morphology, miscibility, crystallinity, thermal properties, surface hydrophilicity and cell culture of the nanofibres were investigated. Blends with high PLA loading (80/10/10 PLA/PCL/CAB) gave fibres with a smooth surface, owing to the enhanced miscibility between the polymer chains from the presence of CAB, which acts as compatibilizer. In contrast, blends with high PCL loading were immiscible, which led to beads during the electrospinning process. The increased molecular mass of PCL2 produced smoother fibres than low-molecular-mass PCL1. The XRD patterns of blends of PLA/PCL1/CAB and PLA/PCL2/CAB were similar to one another, in which the high-crystallinity peaks of PCL seen for 20/70/10 blends were very small for 50/40/10 blends and much less prevalent for 80/10/10 blends. Better fibre formation (80/10/10>50/40/10>20/70/10) with less crystallinity occurs in well-formed fibres. Selected blends of PLA/PCL/CAB promoted growth of NIH/3T3 fibroblast cells, demonstrating that our novel biocompatible ternary blend nanofibrous scaffolds have potential in skin tissue repair applications. In addition, this work helps in the design and understanding of the factors that control the properties of nanofibrous PLA/PCL/CAB scaffolds.
Bibliographical noteThis is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Tuancharoensri, N., Ross, G., Mahasaranon, S., Topham, P. D., & Ross, S. (2017). Ternary blend nanofibers of PLA/PCL/CAB for skin tissue scaffolds: Influence of blend ratio and PCL molecular mass on miscibility, morphology, crystallinity and thermal properties. Polymer International, in press, which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pi.5393. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
- electrospun nanofibres
- poly(lactic acid)
- ternary blend