Indexed on: 16 Mar '17Published on: 03 Mar '17Published in: Journal of Applied Polymer Science
Coaxial electrospinning is a method for producing fibrous mats with optional features, such as antibacterial properties, controllable release, and hydrophobicity based on shell materials. Because these features are important in biomedical applications, in this study, biocompatible hydrophobic polymer (polycaprolactone) and hydrophilic polymer [poly(vinyl alcohol)] with silver nanoparticles loaded in the core solution were coaxially electrospun. The effect of silver addition on the conductivity and viscosity of the solutions, chemical structure of the fiber mats, mechanical properties, porosity, hydrophobicity, water vapor transmission rate (WVTR), silver release, and antibacterial properties were investigated. Fibers with silver exhibited less porosity and a lower WVTR and a greater contact angle than the fibers without silver. Furthermore, the core–shell fibers reduced the burst release of silver and successfully prevented the growth of Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. Therefore, it seems that these fibers are suitable for providing electrospun mats with long-term antibacterial properties. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 2017, 134, 44979.