International journal of biological macromolecules

Preparation and characterization of kefiran electrospun nanofibers.

PMID 24954269


In this study, we report the first successful production of kefiran nanofibers through electrospinning process using distilled water as solvent. For this purpose, kefiran was extracted from cultured kefir grains, and homogenous kefiran solutions with different concentrations were prepared and then electrospun to obtain uniform nanofibers. The effect of main process parameters, including applied voltage, tip-to-collector distance, and feeding rate, on diameter and morphology of produced nanofibers, was studied. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy were used to characterize electrospun mats. Rheological behavior of the kefiran solution was evaluated via a cone and plate rheometer too. The results exhibited that diameter of kefiran nanofibers increased with increasing polymer concentration, applied voltage, and polymer feeding rate, while tip-to-collector distance did not have significant effect on nanofiber diameter. ATR-FTIR spectra showed that kefiran has maintained its molecular structure during electrospinning process. Flow curves also demonstrated shear thinning behavior for kefiran solutions.