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Biomacromolecules. 2014 Apr 14;15(4):1323-7. doi: 10.1021/bm401877s. Epub 2014 Apr 4.

Electrospinning bioactive supramolecular polymers from water.

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Departments of †Materials Science and Engineering, ‡Chemical and Biological Engineering, and §Chemistry, Northwestern University , Evanston, Illinois 60208 United States.


Electrospinning is a high-throughput, low-cost technique for manufacturing long fibers from solution. Conventionally, this technique is used with covalent polymers with large molecular weights. We report here the electrospinning of functional peptide-based supramolecular polymers from water at very low concentrations (<4 wt %). Molecules with low molecular weights (<1 kDa) could be electrospun because they self-assembled into one-dimensional supramolecular polymers upon solvation and the critical parameters of viscosity, solution conductivity, and surface tension were optimized for this technique. The supramolecular structure of the electrospun fibers could ensure that certain residues, like bioepitopes, are displayed on the surface even after processing. This system provides an opportunity to electrospin bioactive supramolecular materials from water for biomedical applications.

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