High-Throughput Fabrication of Quality Nanofibers Using a Modified Free Surface Electrospinning.
ABSTRACT: Based on bubble electrospinning (BE), a modified free surface electrospinning (MFSE) using a cone-shaped air nozzle combined with a solution reservoir made of copper tubes was presented to increase the production of quality nanofibers. In the MFSE process, sodium dodecyl benzene sulfonates (SDBS) were added in the electrospun solution to generate bubbles on a liquid surface. The effects of applied voltage and generated bubbles on the morphology and production of nanofibers were investigated experimentally and theoretically. The theoretical analysis results of the electric field were in good agreement with the experimental data and showed that the quality and production of nanofibers were improved with the increase of applied voltage, and the generated bubbles would decrease the quality and production of nanofibers.
Project description:A new nozzle system for the efficient production of multi-layered nanofibers through electrospinning is reported. Developed a decade ago, the commonly used coaxial nozzle system consisting of two concentric cylindrical needles has remained unchanged, despite recent advances in multi-layered, multi-functional nanofibers. Here, we demonstrate a core-cut nozzle system, in which the exit pipe of the core nozzle is removed such that the core fluid can form an envelope inside the shell solution. This configuration effectively improves the coaxial electrospinning behavior of two fluids and significantly reduces the jet instability, which was proved by finite element simulation. The proposed electrospinning nozzle system was then used to fabricate bi- and tri-layered carbon nanofibers.
Project description:There is a great limitation to improving the quality and productivity of nanofibers through the conventional single-needle method. Using needleless electrospinning technology to generate multiple jets and enhance the productivity of nanofibers has attracted lots of interest for many years. This study develops a novel linear flume spinneret to fabricate nanofibers. Multiple jets with two rows can be formed simultaneously on the surface of the spinneret. The solution concentration has a significant impact on the average nanofiber diameter compared with applied voltage and collection distance. The effects of different spinning process parameters on the productivity of nanofibers are investigated. High-quality nanofibers with small nanofiber diameter and error can be fabricated successfully. The average nanofiber diameter is 108 ± 26 nm. The average error is 24%. The productivity of nanofibers can reach 4.85 ± 0.36 g/h, which is about 24 times more than that of the single-needle method. This novel linear flume spinneret needleless electrospinning technology exhibits huge potential for mass production of nanofibers in the field of industrialization.
Project description:Electrospinning with various machine configurations is being used to produce polymer nanofibers with different rates of output. The use of polymers with high viscosity and the encapsulation of nanoparticles for achieving functionalities are some of the limitations of the existing methods. A profiled multi-pin electrospinning (PMES) setup is demonstrated in this work that overcomes the limitations in the needle and needleless electrospinning like needle clogging, particle settling, and uncontrolled/uneven Taylor cone formation, the requirement of very high voltage and uncontrolled distribution of nanoparticles in nanofibers. The key feature of the current setup is the use of profiled pin arrangement that aids in the formation of spherical shape polymer droplet and hence ensures uniform Taylor cone formation throughout the fiber production process. With a 10?wt% of Polyvinyl Alcohol (PVA) polymer solution and at an applied voltage of 30?kV, the production rate was observed as 1.690?g/h and average fiber diameter obtained was 160.5 ± 48.9?nm for PVA and 124.9 ± 49.8?nm for Cellulose acetate (CA) respectively. Moreover, the setup also provides the added advantage of using high viscosity polymer solutions in electrospinning. This approach is expected to increase the range of multifunctional electrospun nanofiber applications.
Project description:Cholesteryl ester liquid crystals exhibit thermochromic properties related to the existence of a twisted nematic phase. We formulate ternary mixtures of cholesteryl benzoate (CB), cholesteryl pelargonate (CP), and cholesteryl oleyl carbonate (COC) to achieve thermochromic behavior. We aim to achieve thermochromic fibers by incorporating the liquid crystal formulations into electrospun fibers. Two methods of incorporating the liquid crystal (LC) are compared: (1) blend electrospinning and (2) coaxial electrospinning using the same solvent system for the liquid crystal. For blend electrospinning, intermolecular interactions seem to be important in facilitating fiber formation since addition of LC can suppress bead formation. Coaxial electrospinning produces fibers with higher nominal fiber production rates (g/hr) and with higher nominal LC content in the fiber (wt. LC/wt. polymer assuming all of the solvent evaporates) but larger fiber size distributions as quantified by the coefficient of variation in fiber diameter than blend electrospinning with a single nozzle. Importantly, our proof-of-concept experiments demonstrate that coaxially electrospinning with LC and solvent in the core preserves the thermochromic properties of the LC so that thermochromic fibers are achieved.
Project description:Electrospinning is a promising approach to fabricate desirable electropsun nanofibrous scaffold that could be applied in the medical fields. In this study, bacterial copolymer poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-68 mol% 4-hydroxybutyrate) [P(3HB-co-68mol% 4HB)] copolymer produced was fabricated into electrospun nanofibers using various combination of electrospinning parameters including the polymer solution, applied voltage and injection speed. The morphology of the fabricated scaffolds were observed using scanning electron microscope (SEM). The SEM images were analysed for the fibre diameter distribution of the scaffolds using Image Analyser. The results revealed that the 8 wt% of polymer solution, 25 kV/cm of the applied voltage and 1.5 mL/h of the injection speed was the most suitable combination. This electrospinning parameters combination fabricated nanofibrous P(3HB-co-4HB) scaffold with smooth, beadles and uniform nanofibers with small fibre diameter distribution.
Project description:A real-time tool to monitor the electrospinning process is fundamental to improve the reproducibility and quality of the resulting nanofibers. Hereby, a novel optical system integrated through coaxial needle is proposed as monitoring tool for electrospinning process. An optical fiber (OF) is inserted in the inner needle, while the external needle is used to feed the polymeric solution (PEO/water) drawn by the process. The light exiting the OF passes through the solution drop at the needle tip and gets coupled to the electrospun fiber (EF) while travelling towards the nanofibers collector. Numerical and analytical models were developed to assess the feasibility and robustness of the light coupling. Experimental tests demonstrated the influence of the process parameters on the EF waveguide properties, in terms of waveguide length (L), and on the nanofibers diameter distribution, in terms of mean
Project description:Recent biomedical hydrogels applications require the development of nanostructures with controlled diameter and adjustable mechanical properties. Here we present a technique for the production of flexible nanofilaments to be used as drug carriers or in microfluidics, with deformability and elasticity resembling those of long DNA chains. The fabrication method is based on the core-shell electrospinning technique with core solution polymerisation post electrospinning. Produced from the nanofibers highly deformable hydrogel nanofilaments are characterised by their Brownian motion and bending dynamics. The evaluated mechanical properties are compared with AFM nanoindentation tests.
Project description:In this paper, we report an interesting bubble melt electrospinning (e-spinning) to produce polymer microfibers. Usually, melt e-spinning for fabricating ultrafine fibers needs "Taylor cone", which is formed on the tip of the spinneret. The spinneret is also the bottleneck for mass production in melt e-spinning. In this work, a metal needle-free method was tried in the melt e-spinning process. The "Taylor cone" was formed on the surface of the broken polymer melt bubble, which was produced by an airflow. With the applied voltage ranging from 18 to 25 kV, the heating temperature was about 210⁻250 °C, and polyurethane (TPU) and polylactic acid (PLA) microfibers were successfully fabricated by this new melt e-spinning technique. During the melt e-spinning process, polymer melt jets ejected from the burst bubbles could be observed with a high-speed camera. Then, polymer microfibers could be obtained on the grounded collector. The fiber diameter ranged from 45 down to 5 μm. The results indicate that bubble melt e-spinning may be a promising method for needleless production in melt e-spinning.
Project description:Electrospinning has gained great interest in the field of regenerative medicine, due to its fabrication of a native extracellular matrix-mimicking environment. The micro/nanofibers generated through this process provide cell-friendly surroundings which promote cellular activities. Despite these benefits of electrospinning, a process was introduced to overcome the limitations of electrospinning. Cell-electrospinning is based on the basic process of electrospinning for producing viable cells encapsulated in the micro/nanofibers. In this review, the process of cell-electrospinning and the materials used in this process will be discussed. This review will also discuss the applications of cell-electrospun structures in tissue engineering. Finally, the advantages, limitations, and future perspectives will be discussed.
Project description:Titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanofibers have been widely applied in various fields including photocatalysis, energy storage and solar cells due to the advantages of low cost, high abundance and nontoxicity. However, the low conductivity of ions and bulk electrons hinder its rapid development in lithium-ion batteries (LIB). In order to improve the electrochemical performances of TiO2 nanomaterials as anode for LIB, hierarchically porous TiO2 nanofibers with different tetrabutyl titanate (TBT)/paraffin oil ratios were prepared as anode for LIB via a versatile single-nozzle microemulsion electrospinning (ME-ES) method followed by calcining. The experimental results indicated that TiO2 nanofibers with the higher TBT/paraffin oil ratio demonstrated more axially aligned channels and a larger specific surface area. Furthermore, they presented superior lithium-ion storage properties in terms of specific capacity, rate capability and cycling performance compared with solid TiO2 nanofibers for LIB. The initial discharge and charge capacity of porous TiO2 nanofibers with a TBT/paraffin oil ratio of 2.25 reached up to 634.72 and 390.42 mAh·g-1, thus resulting in a coulombic efficiency of 61.51%; and the discharge capacity maintained 264.56 mAh·g-1 after 100 cycles, which was much higher than that of solid TiO2 nanofibers. TiO2 nanofibers with TBT/paraffin oil ratio of 2.25 still obtained a high reversible capacity of 204.53 mAh·g-1 when current density returned back to 40 mA·g-1 after 60 cycles at increasing stepwise current density from 40 mA·g-1 to 800 mA·g-1. Herein, hierarchically porous TiO2 nanofibers have the potential to be applied as anode for lithium-ion batteries in practical applications.