Electrospinning polyampholyte nanofiber membranes
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] The elimination of nonspecific protein adsorption is an important challenge in many biomaterial applications. To address this issue, numerous nonfouling chemistries have been investigated. [2-(acryloyloxy) ethyl] trimethyl ammonium chloride (TMA) and 2-carboxy ethylacrylate (CAA) copolymers have previously been shown to have nonfouling properties. This resistance to nonspecific protein adsorption makes the polymer a candidate for filtration applications where irreversible protein fouling is problematic. However, the low molecular weight TMA:CAA copolymers required for forming nano-structures are water soluble, preventing their use in biomedical applications. In this work, nanoscale polymer fibers are formed using electrospinning. The solubility concern is addressed by cross-linking the copolymers following the formation of nanofibers using ultraviolet light initiated polymerization. When all other electrospinning conditions are held constant, it was shown that as the concentration of the TMA:CAA copolymer is increased, there is a related increase in the fiber diameter. Finally, it was demonstrated that the UV cross-linked nanofibers are insoluble and resistant to bovine serum albumin (BSA) adsorption. This suggests that electrospun TMA:CAA copolymers have promise for biofiltration applications.
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