Characterization and cytotoxicity study of nanofibrous mats incorporating rectorite and carbon nanotubes†
In order to investigate whether the incorporation of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) and rectorite (REC) could improve and extend the properties of nanofibrous mats, poly(lactic acid)/MWCNTs/REC ternary composite nanofibrous mats were fabricated via an electrospinning technique. The composite mats still kept a typical electrospun fiber shape and possessed a three-dimensional structure. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy verified that the addition of MWCNTs and REC was successful. The surface structure of the mats was also analyzed by Raman spectroscopy. Besides, the poly(lactic acid) (PLA) chains could enlarge the interlayer distance of REC, which was confirmed by small-angle X-ray diffraction. Wide-angle X-ray diffraction showed that a higher content of MWCNTs could improve the crystallization of PLA. Thermal analysis results demonstrated that MWCNTs and REC could increase the thermal stability of the composite mats. The cell experiment results indicated that the incorporation of both MWCNTs and REC had little influence on the cell compatibility of the resultant composite mats.