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Langmuir. 2007 Feb 27;23(5):2311-4. Epub 2007 Feb 1.

Co-electrospinning of core-shell fibers using a single-nozzle technique.

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  • 1Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60607-7022, USA.


Co-electrospinning is ideally suited for fabricating continuous fibers encasing materials within a polymer sleeve, but requires relatively complex coannular nozzles. A single-nozzle co-electrospinning technique is demonstrated using blends of poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA)/polyacrylonitrile (PAN) solutions in dimethylformamide (DMF). The as-spun fibers have outer diameters in the range of 0.5-5 microm and possess a core-shell structure similar to that attained via coannular nozzles. The technique relies on the precipitation of PMMA solution droplets, which become trapped at the base of the Taylor cone issuing the PAN solution jet from its tip. A theoretical analysis shows that the outer shell flow is sufficiently strong to stretch the inner droplet into the Taylor cone, thus forming a core-shell jet. The method seems attractive for technological applications involving macroscopically long and radially inhomogeneous or hollow nano/micro fibers.

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