In vitro and in vivo degradation of non-woven materials made of poly(epsilon-caprolactone) nanofibers prepared by electrospinning under different conditions

Bolgen N., Menceloglu Y., Acatay K., Vargel I. , Piskin E.

JOURNAL OF BIOMATERIALS SCIENCE-POLYMER EDITION, vol.16, no.12, pp.1537-1555, 2005 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 16 Issue: 12
  • Publication Date: 2005
  • Doi Number: 10.1163/156856205774576655
  • Page Numbers: pp.1537-1555


The aim of this study was to prepare non-woven materials from a biodegradable polymer, poly(E-caprolactone) (PCL) by electrospinning. PCL was synthesized by ring-opening polymerization of E-caprolactone in bulk using stannous octoate as the catalyst under nitrogen atmosphere. PCL was then processed into non-woven matrices composed of nanofibers by electrospinning of the polymer from its solution using a high voltage power supply. The effects of PCL concentration, composition of the solvent (a mixture of chloroform and DMF with different DMF content), applied voltage and tip-collector distance on fiber diameter and morphology were investigated. The diameter of fibers increased with the increase in the polymer concentration and decrease in the DMF content significantly. Applied voltage and tip-collector distance were found critical to control 'bead' formation. Elongation-at-break, ultimate strength and Young's modulus were obtained from the mechanical tests, which were all increased by increasing fiber diameter. The fiber diameter significantly influenced both in vitro degradation (performed in Ringer solution) and in vivo biodegradation (conducted in rats) rates. In vivo degradation was found to be faster than in vitro. Electrospun membranes were more hydrophobic than PCL solvent-casted ones; therefore, their degradation was a much slower process.