Electrospun fiber scaffolds crafted from polyesters are studied extensively for potential tissue engineering applications. For translation of electrospun fibers into the clinic, the FDA requires analysis and quantification of any organic solvent that may be retained in the fibers since many organic solvents can negatively affect cells and tissues. If a significant amount of solvent is retained, then developing procedures for efficient solvent removal may enhance the clinical potential of these materials. In this study we use fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) to analyze solvent retention. A correlative analysis shows that both FTIR and TGA accurately predicted retention of two different solvents (HFP and chloroform) in our electrospun PLLA scaffolds, thus validating these procedures. We also assess the efficacy of various fiber treatment methods to facilitate organic solvent removal and conclude that submersion in 70 % ethanol and heat treatment at 100 °C were the most efficient methods of removing solvent from electrospun PLLA fibers.
Fibers and Polymers 18, 483-492 (2017).