NSTI Nanotech 2009

Biomimetic Branched Hollow Fibers Templated by Self-assembled Fibrous Polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) Structures in Aqueous Solution

P. Qiu, C. Mao
University of Oklahoma, US

Keywords: polyvinylpyrrolidone, branched fibers, nanotubes, nanoparticles


Branched hollow fibers are adopted widely by biological systems in the blood vessels, lung tissues and even in the feathers of birds. Synthesis of branched hollow fibers is of significance in exploring novel materials mimicking biological systems and in the blood vessel and lung tissue engineering. However, synthesizing branched hollow fibers remains a challenge up to date. In this work, we discovered that polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) could self-assemble to form branched hollow fibers after relatively long time aging at the room temperature in an aqueous solution. By directly using the branched hollow PVP fibers as a template, branched hollow silica tubes were synthesized. However, such direct templating approach could only be applied to a few materials that have strong interaction with PVP. In order to extend the use of PVP assembly as a universal template for the synthesis of branched tubes, PVP coated gold nanoparticles was added to the PVP solution that would otherwise form hollow PVP fibers. It was found that the gold nanoparticles were assembled together with PVP molecules to form fibrous structures. This work demonstrates that we can take advantage of the PVP self-assembly to produce hollow branched nanotubes and assemble inorganic nanomaterials into fibrous nanostructures.
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