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Title: Antimicrobial PLA-based nanofibers developed by solution blow spinning

item MARTINEZ-SANZ, MARTA - Spanish National Research Council
item Bilbao-Sainz, Cristina
item Du, Wen-Xian
item Chiou, Bor-Sen
item Williams, Tina
item Wood, Delilah - De
item Imam, Syed
item Orts, William
item LOPEZ-RUBIO, AMPARO - Spanish National Research Council
item LAGARON, JOSE - Spanish National Research Council

Submitted to: Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/1/2013
Publication Date: 1/1/2015
Citation: Martinez-Sanz, M., Bilbao-Sainz, C., Du, W.N., Chiou, B., Williams, T.G., Wood, D.F., Imam, S.H., Orts, W.J., Lopez-Rubio, A., Lagaron, J.M. 2015. Antimicrobial PLA-based nanofibers developed by solution blow spinning. Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology. 15(1):616-627.

Interpretive Summary: Solution blow spinning is an alternate technique to electrospinning for producing nano- and microfibers. It offers some advantages over electrospinning, including the elimination of high voltage use, an increase in fiber production rate, and a wider range of materials that can be used as collectors. In this study, polylactic acid (PLA) fibers containing cellulose nanowhiskers, fish gelatin, and antimicrobial compounds were developed for controlled-release applications. The antimicrobial compounds included an essential oil, carvacrol, and an antibiotic, tetracycline hydrochloride. Fibers containing gelatin showed much improved antimicrobial properties compared to fibers without gelatin. This was due to gelatin serving as a carrier for the antimicrobial compounds. Also, the fibers that showed the best antimicrobial properties contained gelatin, cellulose nanowhiskers, and tetracycline hydrochloride. These results suggested that the fibers can be used for applications such as coatings, food packaging, textiles, and filters.

Technical Abstract: The present study reports on the development of hybrid PLA fibers loaded with highly crystalline bacterial cellulose nanowhiskers (BCNW) by the novel solution blow spinning method. Furthermore, fibers with antimicrobial properties were generated by incorporating carvacrol and THC as antimicrobial agents and the biocide effect against Listeria monocytogenes was studied. Initially, PLA blow spun fibers containing BCNW were optimized in terms of morphology and thermal properties. The addition of BCNW was seen to significantly increase the viscosity and surface tension of solutions, restricting the capacity to form fibers for concentrations greater than 30 wt.-% BCNW. 15 wt.-% BCNW was selected as the optimum nanofiller loading as it led to the most uniform fibers morphology, with BCNW homogeneously distributed along the fibers’ axis. Subsequently, carvacrol and THC were incorporated into the fibers to confer them with antimicrobial properties. The addition of the BCNW filler was not seen to significantly increase the antimicrobial capacity of the fibers by itself and, hence, gelatin was added to help promoting further the hydrophilicity and biocide performance of the fibers. Nevertheless, for the more hydrophilic THC, the biocide capacity of the fibers with gelatin was accentuated further by the presence of the BCNW.