FABRICATION OF NANOPOROUS CHITOSAN MEMBRANES
WANG X., LI X., STRIDE E., EDIRISINGHE M.
<jats:p> Naturally derived biopolymers have been widely used for biomedical applications such as drug carriers, wound dressings, and tissue engineering scaffolds. Chitosan is a typical polysaccharide of great interest due to its biocompatibility and film-formability. Chitosan membranes with controllable porous structures also have significant potential in membrane chromatography. Thus, the processing of membranes with porous nanoscale structures is of great importance, but it is also challenging and this has limited the application of these membranes to date. In this study, with the aid of a carefully selected surfactant, polyethyleneglycol stearate-40, chitosan membranes with a well controlled nanoscale structure were successfully prepared. Additional control over the membrane structure was obtained by exposing the suspension to high intensity, low frequency ultrasound. It was found that the concentration of chitosan/surfactant ratio and the ultrasound exposure conditions affect the structural features of the membranes. The stability of nanopores in the membrane was improved by intensive ultrasonication. Furthermore, the stability of the blended suspensions and the intermolecular interactions between chitosan and the surfactant were investigated using scanning electron microscope and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) analysis, respectively. Hydrogen bonds and possible reaction sites for molecular interactions in the two polymers were also confirmed by FTIR analysis. </jats:p>