Emulsion Electrospinning

Emulsions can be used to create bioactive scaffolds. Emulsion electrospinning allows two immiscible solutions (a water phase and an immiscible solvent with polymer) to be spun in one scaffold. By mixing these two immiscible solutions, an organization of emulsified droplets into a water-based solution is created.

Surfactants (i.e. Triton, amphiphilic compounds and nanoparticles) are used to stabilize the interface between the two solutions and protect the biomolecules from the solvent. The existence of an aqueous and a non-aqueous phase allows soluble biomolecules to be introduced without altering the structure and degradation of the fibers. The release properties of the biomolecules can be controlled for example by the degradation rate and concentration of the polymer1.

The technique finds its main application in the field of drug delivery, in order to enclose, protect, and/or control release rates for a particular drug delivery system2. As an example bioactive factor such as doxorubicin3, cytocrome C4 and fibroblast growth factor5 have been emulsion electrospun with PLA/PEO, PLLA and PELA respectively.


  1. Wang, C. & Wang, M. (2012). Emulsion Electrospinning of Nanofibrous Delivery Vehicles for the Controlled Release of Biomolecules and the In Vitro Release Behaviour of Biomolecules. Advanced Materials Research 410: 98-101. DOI: 10.4028/www.scientific.net/AMR.410.98
  1. McClellan, P. & Landis, W. J. (2016). Recent Applications of Coaxial and Emulsion Electrospinning Methods in the Field of Tissue Engineering. Bioresearch Open Access 5(1): 212–227. DOI: 10.1089/biores.2016.0022
  1. Xu, X., Chen, X., Ma, P., Wang, X. & Jing, X. (2008). The release behavior of doxorubicin hydrochloride from medicated fibers prepared by emulsion-electrospinning. European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics 70: 165–170. DOI: 10.1016/j.ejpb.2008.03.010
  1. Maretschek, S., Greiner, A. & Kissel, T. (2008). Electrospun biodegradable nanofiber nonwovens for controlled release of proteins. Journal of Controlled Release 127(2):180-7. DOI: 10.1016/j.jconrel.2008.01.011
  1. Yang, Y. Xia, T., Zhi, W., Wei, L., Weng, J., Zhang, C., Li, X. (2011). Promotion of skin regeneration in diabetic rats by electrospun core-sheath fibers loaded with basic fibroblast growth factor. Biomaterials 32(18):4243-54. DOI: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2011.02.042

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