Electrostatic spinning was investigated as an alternative to electrospinning to establish the potential of the technique for the production of a range of microfibrous polyurethane scaffolds with a variety of structures and properties related to the fabrication conditions. Tecoflex® SG-80A polyurethane was spun, systematically altering the spinning parameters, and the resulting scaffolds were characterised using scanning electron microscopy. Inter-fibre separation was significantly affected by flow rate, spray distance and grid and mandrel voltages; fibre diameter by flow rate and mandrel voltage; void fraction by flow rate; fibre orientation by traverse speed and mandrel speed; and thickness by flow rate. Thus, scaffold (three-dimensional) architecture may be controlled through manipulation of the electric fields and the fibre deposition (spinning parameters of flow rate and grid and mandrel voltages); and by spray movement and direction (spinning parameters of relative spray height, spray distance, traverse speed and mandrel speed). There were significant differences between the internal and external scaffold surfaces, due in part to the manner in which the surface of the mandrels was prepared. We conclude that the process may be used to produce a range of polyurethane scaffolds for use in many tissue engineering applications.
- tissue engineering