Fabrication of Gelatin Nanofibers by Electrospinning—Mixture of Gelatin and Polyvinyl Alcohol

Hsiu Yu Chi, Hsiu Yu Chi, Nai Yun Chang, Chuan Li*, Chuan Li*, Vincent Chan*, Jang Hsin Hsieh*, Ya Hui Tsai, Tingchao Lin, Tingchao Lin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

18 Scopus citations


Gelatin, one of the most abundant, naturally derived biomacromolecules from collagen, is widely applicable in food additives, cosmetic ingredients, drug formulation, and wound dressing based on their non-toxicity and biodegradability. In parallel, polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), a synthetic polymer, has been commonly applied as a thickening agent for coating processes in aqueous systems and a major component in healthcare products for cartilage replacements, eye lubrication, and contact lenses. In this study, a new type of mixed hydrogel nanofiber was fabricated from gelatin and polyvinyl alcohol by electrospinning under a feasible range of polymer compositions. To determine the optimal composition of gelatin and polyvinyl alcohol in nanofiber fabrication, several key physicochemical properties of mixed polymer solutions such as viscosity, surface tension, pH, and electrical conductance were thoroughly characterized by a viscometer, surface tensiometer, water analyzer, and carbon electron probe. Moreover, the molecular structures of polymeric chains within mixed hydrogel nanofibers were investigated with Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy. The morphologies and surface elemental compositions of the mixed hydrogel nanofibers were examined by the scanning electron microscope and energy-dispersive Xray spectroscopy, respectively. The measurement of water contact angles was performed for measuring the hydrophilicity of nanofiber surfaces. Most importantly, the potential cytotoxicity of the electrospun nanofibers was evaluated by the in vitro culture of 3T3 fibroblasts. Through our extensive study, it was found that a PVA-rich solution (a volumetric ratio of gelatin/polyvinyl alcohol <1) would be superior for the efficient production of mixed hydrogel nanofibers by electrospinning techniques. This result is due to the appropriate balance between the higher viscosity (~420–~4300 10−2 poise) and slightly lower surface tension (~35.12–~32.68 mN/m2) of the mixed polymer solution. The regression on the viscosity data also found a good fit by the Lederer–Rougier’s model for a binary mixture. For the hydrophilicity of nanofibers, the numerical analysis estimates that the value of interfacial energy for the water contact on nanofibers is around ~−0.028 to ~−0.059 J/m2.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2610
Issue number13
StatePublished - 01 07 2022
Externally publishedYes

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  • Fourier-transform infrared spectrometer
  • electrospinning
  • gelatin
  • polyvinyl alcohol
  • spin coating
  • water contact angle


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