Skip to main content
ARS Home » Midwest Area » Peoria, Illinois » National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research » Plant Polymer Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #217449

Title: Electrospun zein fibers using glutaraldehyde as the cross-linking reagent

item Selling, Gordon
item Woods, Kristen
item Sessa, David
item Biswas, Atanu

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/15/2008
Publication Date: 4/10/2008
Citation: Selling, G.W., Woods, K.K., Sessa, D.J., Biswas, A. 2008. Electrospun zein fibers using glutaraldehyde as the cross-linking reagent. Meeting Abstract. xx.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Glutaraldehyde was used as a cross-linking reagent for zein (corn protein) to provide fibers with improved physical properties and solvent resistance. Glutaraldehyde was used at levels between 2 - 8%. The cross-linking reaction was carried out in acetic acid for twenty hours at room temperature. This solution was used to produce fibers using the electrospinning technique. Depending on protein concentration in the spinning solution, round and ribbon fibers were produced having diameters between 1 - 70 microns when 8% glutaraldehyde was incorporated in the zein. Surprisingly, the fibers readily dissolved in acetic acid after production. Heating the fibers for various lengths of time at temperatures from 80 – 180º C provided various degrees of insolubility to the fibers. The time and temperature needed to deliver insolubility was dependent on the amount of glutaraldehyde used. When lower amounts of glutaraldehyde are used, longer heating times and/or higher temperatures are required to render a fiber insoluble. A model was developed relating the extent of dissolution with the amount of glutaraldehyde used and the temperature/time at which the fiber was exposed. The tensile strength of the 8% glutaraldehyde zein fiber mat was increased by 200%. The fibers were birefringent and had higher amounts of alpha-helix relative to starting material. With heating, the amount of alpha-helix was reduced.