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The formation of beaded nanofibers containing purple membrane (PM) by electrospinning of polymer solutions is reported. Electrospinning is known as a versatile method to produce polymeric fibers with diameters on the nanometer scale. Embedding of particles significantly larger than the fiber diameter is unexpected because a breakdown of the spinning process is expected when microscaled particles in the polymer solution pass the nozzle. Presumably due to the flexibility of PM patches, the embedding of the membrane patches into the fibers becomes possible. Embedding into nanofibers may be an alternative to microencapsulation for biomolecules.
Date of Publication: June 2004