Functionalizable coaxial PLLA/PDLA nanofibers with stereocomplexes at the internal interface


Multifunctionality of electrospun polylactic acid (PLA) nonwovens was generated by the morphological design of nanofibers. Coaxial fibers with a lower number average molar mass Mn PLLA core and a higher Mn PDLA shell form PDLA–PLLA stereocrystals at the interface, induced by annealing. In tensile tests under physiological conditions, the core–shell fibers with higher crystallinity (22% compared to 11–14%) had lower Young’s moduli E (9 ± 1 MPa) and lower elongation at break εb (26 ± 3%) than PDLA alone (E = 31 ± 9 MPa, εb = 80 ± 5%), which can be attributed to simultaneous crystallization and relaxation effects. Gelatin incorporated in the PDLA phase was presented on the outer surface providing a biointerface putatively favorable for cell adherence. Gelatin incorporation did not influence the crystallization behavior but slightly lowered Tg (60 → 54 °C). Employing exclusively polymers established in the clinic, multifunctionality was generated by design.
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