Mechanistic study on rapid fabrication of fibrous films via centrifugal melt spinning

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Fibrous films have attracted considerable attention in the field of drug delivery and wound dressings owing to their porous structure and highly aligned fiber orientation. However, current fabrication methods such as electrospinning have certain limitations, including high voltage requirement and conductivity dependency. This has greatly hindered the product development and applications of fibrous films. The objective of the present study was to develop a high throughput and solventless fiber fabrication method via centrifugal melt spinning (CMS) technology. A mechanistic study on the rapid fabrication of drug-loaded fibrous films was conducted using different model drugs and polymers. It was observed that the formability, morphology, and yield of fibrous films were affected by melt rheological properties of film components, operation temperature, and plasticizers. Maintaining suitable fluidity of molten materials during the CMS process is critical for the fiber formation. The produced fibrous films had high drug loading, highly aligned orientation and modulatable drug dissolution characteristics. Finally, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) was used to simulate the melt flow fields during the CMS process. Pressure, turbulence, velocity, and partial pathlines were simulated to elucidate the influence of various operation parameters (i.e. rotating speed, inlet rate and collecting radius) and material properties (i.e. density and viscosity) on the outlet velocity of products and sample collection position. The present study demonstrated that CMS is a high throughput and cost-efficient fabrication method for drug-loaded fibrous films. CFD simulation can be used to assist in understanding fiber formation as well as optimization of CMS process parameters.

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International Journal of Pharmaceutics