Electrospun mats and films of polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) hydrogel are produced for drug delivery. To provide mechanical consistency to the gel a reinforcement by nanoclays is introduced in the polymer matrix. Four different suspensions of nanoparticles in the polymer solution are prepared in an adequate solvent. These suspensions are subjected to an electrospinning process to produce the nanofiber mat, while films are produced by casting. The influence of the process parameters over the nanofibers microstructure is analyzed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The effectiveness of nanoclay encapsulation in the nanocomposites is tested by a thermogravimetric analysis. A crosslinking reaction in solution is carried out to prevent the dissolution of the nanocomposites in aqueous media. A model protein (bovine serum albumin, BSA) is absorbed in the nanocomposites to characterize the release kinetics in phosphate-buffered saline (PBS).
Keywords: crosslinking; drug delivery; electrospinning; nanoclay; polyvinyl alcohol.