Nanotechnology is an area attracting the attention of many research and industrial branches. Nanomaterials have several advantages over bulk materials such as the huge surface-to-volume ratio, very high porosity and completely different physiochemical properties. Of the various process methods (drawing, phase separation, self-alignment etc.), processing materials in a high electrostatic field is the only viable method that can be further developed for the mass production of nanomaterials and especially nanofibrous materials from various polymers.
The morphology of nanomaterials greatly influence all of their properties:
Mechanical (tensile strength, breaking strain)
Physiochemical (biodegradability, drug release, surface size)
Biological (cell infiltration, orientation of cell growth etc.)
One of the most common structures manufactured by electrospinning is a “nanofiber”. Nanofibers provide connections between the nano and macro world because their diameters are in the order of nanometers, while their lengths can run into the hundreds of meters or more. In order to meet the official definition, nanofibers must have a fiber diameter of less than 100 nm, although the commercial sector allows an upper fiber diameter range of about 300 nm to 500 nm. Utilising the electrospraying technique “nanoparticles” can be formed and also used within different industries.
The 4SPIN® emitters allow different types of polymers to be spun, from synthetic to natural polymers or polymer mixtures:
INDUSTRIES ADOPTING NANOTECHNOLOGY:
Automotive (fuel cells and filters, bedding protection, nano products for HVAC etc.)
Health Care (targeted drug delivery, artificial joints, tissue replacement, tissue engineering)
Chemical Industry (nanotubes, nanocomposites, cosmetic creams, UV protection)
Environment (filtration, biodegradation, removal of impurities, marking of food, desalinisation)
Electronics (storage devices, spintronics, bioelectronics, quantum electronics)
Military (respirators, fabrics providing biological or chemical protection, haemostatic pads)
Textile Industry (novel apparels, sports clothing, hydrophobic and non-soiling fabrics)
The application of nanomaterials in biomedicine is currently at the forefront of development. Compared with the conventional materials, the surface area of nanostructured material is undoubtedly much larger, allowing for the adhesion of cells, proteins and or active ingredients.
Applications of Nanomaterials in Biomedicine:
Tissue Engineering (replacement of damaged tissues including the skin, bones, cartilage, lymph nodes, blood vessels, muscle, and other tissues)
Drug Delivery (biodegradable or non-biodegradable nanomaterials can be used to control the release of drugs either through diffusion alone or through diffusion and degradation)
Scaffolds (sufficient surface and various surface chemical properties facilitating cell adhesion, growth, migration and differentiation can be achieved using biocompatible nanofibers)
Wound Healing (novel dressing materials made from spun biopolymers containing various active components beneficial for wound healing with fiber segment sizes ranging from tens of nanometres to several microns)
Many in vitro studies of nanofiber wound healing bandages, scaffolds and drug carriers have shown that nanostructured materials outperform their micro or macro counterparts even when they are composed of the same raw material. The properties of nanofiber layers, such as porosity, can generally be adapted.
MACROSCOPIC STRUCTURE OF NANOMATERIALS
Besides producing large nanofibrous sheets, 4SPIN® technology is also able to create different 3D structures. These objects combine the advantages of nanomaterials such as an extremely large surface area, improved reactivity or high porosity with good mechanical properties, which allow their further processing and utilization in various fields e.g. vascular tissue engineering, wound healing etc.