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In vitro hydrolytic degradation of centrifugally spun polyhydroxybutyrate–pectin composite fibres

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BACKGROUND: Centrifugal spinning is a novel fibre‐forming process that readily permits the incorporation of additives while avoiding the thermal damage often associated with conventional melt spinning. Centrifugal spinning of a viscous solution of poly(3‐hydroxybutyrate) (PHB) mixed with pectin was used to fabricate a range of fibres containing different concentrations of this biologically active agent. The influence of this blending on fibre morphology and in vitro degradation in an accelerated hydrolytic model at 70 °C and pH of 10.6 is reported.

RESULTS: Blending influenced the physiochemical properties of the fibres, and this significantly affected the degradation profile of both the fibre and its PHB constituent. A greater influence on degradation was exerted by the type of pectin and its degree of esterification than by variations in its loading.

CONCLUSION: Centrifugal spinning permits the fabrication of composite fibrous matrices from PHB and pectin. Incorporation of the polysaccharide into the fibres can be used to manipulate degradation behaviour and demonstrates a model for doping of matrices with active biological constituents. The unique features of the centrifugal spinning process, as illustrated by the structure of the fibres and the degradation profiles, suggest possible applications of centrifugally spun biopolymers as wound scaffolding devices and in tissue engineering. Copyright © 2009 Society of Chemical Industry
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Keywords: PHB; biomaterial; blending; centrifugal spinning; degradation; polyhydroxybutyrate

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2009

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