Electrospun zein nanofibers incorporating cyclodextrins
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Zein nanofibers containing cyclodextrins (zein/CD) were produced via electrospinning. Three types of CDs (α-CD, β-CD and γ-CD) having 10%, 25% and 50% (w/w) were individually incorporated into zein nanofibers. SEM imaging elucidated that the morphologies of the electrospun zein/CD nanofibers depended on the CD type and weight percentage. The incorporation of CDs in zein improved the electrospinnability and bead-free nanofibers were obtained at lower zein concentrations. Zein/CD nanofibers having fiber diameters ∼100–400 nm were obtained depending on the zein concentrations, types and weight percentages of CD. XRD studies revealed that CDs were mostly distributed without forming crystalline aggregates for zein/CD nanofibers containing lower weight percentage of CDs. The surface analyses of zein/CD nanofibers by ATR-FTIR and XPS indicated that some of the CDs were present on the fiber surface. Thermal analyses showed that zein/β-CD nanofibers have shown higher glass transition temperatures and higher degradation temperature with increasing CD content.