Antibacterial and superhydrophilic electrospun polyurethane nanocomposite fibers containing tourmaline nanoparticles

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Journal Article
Chemical Engineering Journal, 2012, 197 pp. 41 - 48
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This paper describes a one-step fabrication of tourmaline (TM) nanoparticles (NPs)-decorated polyurethane (PU) composite nanofibers with superhydrophilic and antibacterial properties. The physico-chemical properties of the prepared samples were characterized by different characterization techniques. FESEM and TEM images confirmed the presence of well-dispersed TM NPs in/on PU nanofibers. The incorporation and homogeneous dispersion of 3. wt% TM NPs in PU exhibited an increase in tensile strength and modulus of 75% and 87%, respectively from those of the neat PU. All TM/PU composite mats showed improved hydrophilicity compared to neat PU mat, and a superhydrophilic surface with a contact angle of 13° was obtained at 5. wt% TM content. FTIR spectra confirmed the interaction of TM NPs to PU matrix through hydrogen bonding. Bacterial tests showed high zone inhibition for both Escherichia coli (Gram-negative) and Enterococci (Gram-positive) using the TM/PU composite mats with increasing efficiency as with the increase of TM NP content. The present TM/PU composite mat, which has improved mechanical properties, superhydrophilic surface, and good antibacterial properties, may be a potential candidate as an antibacterial material, in the field of health-protection textile and water filtration. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.
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