Electrospinning of PLA
This chapter shows that the electrospinning process is a versatile technique and that poly(lactic acid), PLA, is able to be electrospun with good results, making PLA-electrospun fibres promising materials for industrial applications, above all in the biological field. In fact, a review on the developments of the electrospinning of PLA and of PLA-based nanocomposites is reported in this chapter. In particular, attention is focused on the electrospinning processing behaviour of PLA and of its nanocomposites as well as on the main features of PLA-electrospun micro- and nanofibres. Their morphologies and final properties have been studied as a function of fibres diameter and of eventual defects along the fibres, these being the most important factors to control. The main characteristics of PLA-based nanocomposites electrospun fibres are also reported here, focusing attention on the use of montmorillonite, halloysite nanotubes, hydroxyapatite, cellulose, carbon nanotubes and graphene as reinforcing nanoparticles. Finally, the main applications of PLA and of PLA-based electrospun fibres are discussed in the last part of this chapter, with particular attention to tissue engineering, wound dressing and drug delivery fields.