A Novel Profiled Multi-Pin Electrospinning System For Nanofiber Production And Encapsulation Of Nanoparticles Into Nanofibers
Electrospinning with various machine configurations is being used to produce polymer nanofibers with different rates of output. The use of polymers with high viscosity and the encapsulation of nanoparticles for achieving functionalities are some of the limitations of the existing methods. A profiled multi-pin electrospinning (PMES) setup is demonstrated in this work that overcomes the limitations in the needle and needleless electrospinning like needle clogging, particle settling, and uncontrolled/uneven Taylor cone formation, the requirement of very high voltage and uncontrolled distribution of nanoparticles in nanofibers. The key feature of the current setup is the use of profiled pin arrangement that aids in the formation of spherical shape polymer droplet and hence ensures uniform Taylor cone formation throughout the fiber production process. With a 10 wt% of Polyvinyl Alcohol (PVA) polymer solution and at an applied voltage of 30 kV, the production rate was observed as 1.690 g/h and average fiber diameter obtained was 160.5 ± 48.9 nm for PVA and 124.9 ± 49.8 nm for Cellulose acetate (CA) respectively. Moreover, the setup also provides the added advantage of using high viscosity polymer solutions in electrospinning. This approach is expected to increase the range of multifunctional electrospun nanofiber applications.