Title: Modelling of mechanical properties of electrospun nanofibre network

Authors: Xiaofan Wei, Zhenhai Xia, Shing-Chung Wong, Avinash Baji

Addresses: Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Akron, Akron, OH 44325–3903, USA. ' Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Akron, Akron, OH 44325–3903, USA. ' Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Akron, Akron, OH 44325–3903, USA. ' Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Akron, Akron, OH 44325–3903, USA

Abstract: Electrospun nanofibres are widely investigated as extra-cellular matrix for tissue engineering and biomedical applications. Little is understood on the deformation mechanics of spun fibre mats. A model is developed to predict the deformation behaviour of randomly-oriented electrospun nanofibre network/mats with the fibre-fibre fusion and van der Waals interaction. The nanofibres in the mat are represented by chains of beads; the interactions between the beads are described by bonded (stretch, bending and torsion) and non-bonded (van der Waals) potentials. Stress-strain curves and dynamics fracture are predicted by this model. The results show that the fibre-fibre fusion has a significant effect on the tensile strength of the mats. Increasing the number of fusion points in the mat results in an increase in strength, but over-fusion may lead to lower fracture energy. The predicted stress-strain relationships are consistent with the experimental results.

Keywords: electrospinning; electrospun nanofibres; molecular dynamics; simulation; fibre fusion; mechanical properties; deformation mechanics; spun fibre mats; stress-strain curves; dynamics fracture; fibre-fibre fusion; tensile strength; modelling; experimental biomechanics; nanofibre networks; nanocomposites.

DOI: 10.1504/IJECB.2009.022858

International Journal of Experimental and Computational Biomechanics, 2009 Vol.1 No.1, pp.45 - 57

Available online: 30 Jan 2009 *

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