This study investigated the incorporation of nanoscale germanium (Ge) and silicon dioxide (SiO2) particles into poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) nanofibers with the aim of developing nanostructures with far-infrared radiation effects and antimicrobial properties for biomedical applications. Composite fibers containing Ge and SiO2 were fabricated at various concentrations of Ge and/or SiO2 using electrospinning and layered on polypropylene nonwoven. The morphological properties of the nanocomposite fibers were characterized using a field-emission scanning electron microscope and a transmission electron microscope. The far-infrared emissivity and emissive power of the nanocomposite fibers were examined in the wavelength range of 5-20 μm at 37 °C. The antibacterial properties were quantitatively assessed by measuring the bacterial reductions of Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Escherichia coli. Multi-component composite fibers electrospun from 11 wt% PVA solutions containing 0.5 wt% Ge and 1 wt% SiO2 nanoparticles exhibited a far-infrared emissivity of 0.891 and an emissive power of 3.44·102 W m-2 with a web area density of 5.55 g m-2. The same system exhibited a 99.9 % bacterial reduction against both Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli, and showed a 34.8 % reduction of Klebsiella pneumoniae. These results demonstrate that PVA nanofibrous membranes containing Ge and SiO2 have potential in medical and healthcare applications such as wound healing dressings, skin care masks, and medical textile products.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (No. 2010-0013511).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Chemical Engineering(all)
- Polymers and Plastics