In wet electrospinning, the fibers are collected into a liquid bath collector instead on a solid target as in standard electrospinning. The choice of the liquid is important, because if the surface tension is too high, the polymer fibers will be floating on the surface instead of sinking down.1
Wet electrospinning was first introduced as a method for the direct production of fibrous fluffy, sponge-like structures without the use of sophisticated devices or additional compounds. The higher porosity of these scaffolds increases cell infiltration, rendering these cotton-wool like scaffolds suitable for tissue engineering application.
Some examples of materials used in wet-electrospinning are poly(glycolic acid), chitin, cellulose, poly(trimethylenecarbonate- co-ɛ-caprolactone)-block-poly-(p-dioxanone), copolymer of poly(glycolic acid) and poly(lactic acid) and also blends of for example polycaprolactone and collagen or polycaprolactone and elastin.1
With this technique one can also fabricate a 3D electrospun scaffold already containing the cells. Spinning directly in the cell culture media allows the immediate seeding of the cells during the continuous formation of the scaffold.2
Electrospinning into a liquid can be useful when it is challenging to collect dry fibers, e.g. while using solvents with a high boiling point such as DMSO. The collection in a non-solvent will precipitate the fiber, while the solvent will be drawn out.
This technique is widest used in electrospraying to collect the droplets and in electrospinning to produce yarns.3–6 A vortex is present within the collector bath in order to intertwine the fibers to a yarn while electrospinning. This yarn is then pulled from the vortex and winded up on a spool. In addition to proposed applications like suture wires, these yarns can also be used to weave scaffolds.