Hydrophobicity and resistance against microorganisms of heat and chemically crosslinked poly(vinyl alcohol) nanofibrous membranes
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Poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) is a water-soluble, semi-ionic and biocompatible polymer with excellent chemical and thermal stability. The chemical crosslinking of PVA membrane improve its stability towards humidity and water. In the present work, PVA nanofibrous membranes were fabricated using roller electrospinning techniques. The prepared membranes were crosslinked by heat treatment, glutaraldehyde dipping, and glutaraldehyde vapour. Furthermore, octadecyltrichlorosilane (OTS) treatment was used for hydrophobization of the crosslinked membranes. The prepared crosslinked membranes were analysed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). The hydrophobization of PVA nanofibrous membranes were analysed by employing optical goniometer and auto-dynamic vapour sorption (AVS) techniques. Further, the PVA membranes were tested against algae and mould growth at in-vitro laboratory conditions. The SEM and FTIR results revealed significant differences in the morphology of the PVA nanofibrous membranes and in chemical bond formation due to crosslinking treatments. Water contact angle and AVS data confirmed a hydrophobization of PVA membranes by the treatments.
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