Photothermal Welding, Melting, and Patterned Expansion of Nonwoven Mats of Polymer Nanofibers for Biomedical and Printing Applications.
ABSTRACT: We report a simple method for the photothermal welding of nonwoven mats of electrospun nanofibers by introducing a near-infrared (NIR) dye such as indocyanine green. By leveraging the strong photothermal effect of the dye, the nanofibers can be readily welded at their cross points or even over-welded (i.e., melted and/or fused together) to transform the porous mat into a solid film upon exposure to a NIR laser. While welding at the cross points greatly improves the mechanical strength of a nonwoven mat of nanofibers, melting and fusion of the nanofibers can be employed to fabricate a novel class of photothermal papers for laser writing or printing without chemicals or toner particles. By using a photomask, we can integrate photothermal welding with the gas foaming technique to pattern and then expand nonwoven mats into 3D scaffolds with well-defined structures. This method can be applied to different combinations of polymers and dyes, if they can be co-dissolved in a suitable solvent for electrospinning.
Project description:This communication describes a simple and effective method for welding electrospun nanofibers at the cross points to enhance the mechanical properties of their nonwoven mats. The welding is achieved by placing a nonwoven mat of the nanofibers in a capped vial with the vapor of a proper solvent. For polycaprolactone (PCL) nanofibers, the solvent is dichloromethane (DCM). The welding can be managed in a controllable fashion by simply varying the partial pressure of DCM and/or the exposure time. Relative to the pristine nanofiber mat, the mechanical strength of the welded PCL nanofiber mat can be increased by as much as 200%. Meanwhile, such a treatment does not cause any major structural changes, including morphology, fiber diameter, and pore size. This study provides a generic method for improving the mechanical properties of nonwoven nanofiber mats, holding great potential in various applications.
Project description:Electrospinning can be used to create nanofiber mats for diverse applications, from wound dressings and tissue engineering to filters for medical and biotechnological applications. In most of these applications, it is necessary to fix the nanofiber mat on a macroscopic textile fabric, on another nanofiber mat or within a frame to keep it at the desired position. Due to their extremely low thickness and areal mass, however, nanofiber mats are easily destroyed by sewing, and in several situations glued bonds are too thick and not flexible enough. Here we report on ultrasonic welding of polyacrylonitrile nanofiber mats, suggesting this method as a joining process without destruction of the mat morphology for thermoplastic nanofiber mats. A variety of welding patterns results in different adhesion forces between both joined nanofiber mats and different failure mechanisms, with some welding patterns enabling bonding stronger than the mats themselves. Our findings show that ultrasonic welding is a possible joining method for polyacrylonitrile nanofiber mats.
Project description:We prepared polyacrylonitrile (PAN) and urchin-like Ag-Au bimetallic or Ag nanoparticle-decorated PAN nonwoven mats using electrospinning and evaluated them in vitro and in vivo for wound healing, antibacterial effects on skin tissue, and promotion of bone ingrowth in vitro. A facile, green, low-temperature protocol was developed to obtain these nonwoven mats. The sterilization rate of urchin-like Ag-Au bimetallic and Ag nanoparticle-decorated PAN nonwoven mats against <i>Staphylococcus aureus</i> was 96.81 ± 2.81% and 51.90 ± 9.07%, respectively, after 5 h treatment. In an in vitro cell model, these two mats did not show significant toxicity; cell viability of >80% was obtained within 5 h of treatment. In vivo animal model preclinical assessment showed that the urchin-like Ag-Au bimetallic nonwoven mat group showed significant wound recovery because of sebaceous gland, hair follicle, and fat formation during skin tissue regeneration; increased neovascularization and compact collagen fibers were observed in the dermal layer, comparable to the findings for the control group. The mother substrate of the urchin-like Ag-Au bimetallic nanoparticle-decorated PAN nonwoven mats, that is, pure PAN nonwoven mats, was found to be a potential scaffold for bone tissue engineering as osteoblast ingrowth from the top to the bottom of the membrane and proliferation inside the membrane were observed. The key genetic factor Cbfa1 was identified as a key osteoblast differentiation regulator in vitro. Thus, electrospun membrane materials show potential for use as dual-functional biomaterials for bone regeneration and infection control and composite grafts for infectious bone and soft tissue defects.
Project description:In this study, silk fibroin was extracted from cocoons of silkworms and fabricated into nonwoven mats by electrospinning method. A new model based on the group method of data handling (GMDH) and artificial neural network (ANN) was developed for estimation of the average diameter of electrospun silk fibroin nanofibers. In this regard, concentration, flow rate, voltage, distance, and speed of collector were used as input parameters and average diameter of the fibers was considered as output parameter. Two models were capable to estimate average diameter of fibers with good accuracy. The average absolute relative deviation for GMDH and ANN models was equal to 3.56 and 2.28 %, respectively. Furthermore, due to importance of oxygen delivery to site of injury to promote wound healing, continuity equation for mass transport was employed for prediction of oxygen profile in the system containing wound dressing and skin. The result showed that our prepared wound dressing is capable to pass the oxygen completely to the skin layer and is not acting as a barrier for oxygen delivery to wound site. Since average nanofibers diameter can influence the mat physical, mechanical and biological properties then this model may serve as a useful guide to obtain tailor made and uniform silk nanofibers at various combinations of process variables.
Project description:Current wound sealing systems such as nanoparticle-based gluing of tissues allow almost immediate wound sealing. The assistance of a laser beam allows the wound sealing with higher controllability due to the collagen fiber melting which is defined by loss of tertiary protein structure and restoration upon cooling. Usually one employs dyes to paint onto the wound, if water absorption bands are absent. In case of strong bleeding or internal wounds such applications are not feasible due to low welding depth in case of water absorption bands, dyes washing off, or the dyes becoming diluted within the wound. One possible solution of these drawbacks is to use autonomously movable particles composing of biocompatible gold and magnetite nanoparticles and biocompatible polyelectrolyte complexes. In this paper a proof of principle study is presented on the utilization of thermophoretic Janus particles and capsules employed as dyes for infrared laser-assisted tissue welding. This approach proves to be efficient in sealing the wound on the mouse in vivo. The temperature measurement of single particle level proves successful photothermal heating, while the mechanical characterizations of welded liver, skin, and meat confirm mechanical restoration of the welded biological samples.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Theranostic nanomaterials composed of fluorescent and photothermal agents can both image and provide a method of disease treatment in clinical oncology. For in vivo use, the near-infrared (NIR) window has been the focus of the majority of studies, because of greater light penetration due to lower absorption and scatter of biological components. Therefore, having both fluorescent and photothermal agents with optical properties in the NIR provides the best chance of improved theranostic capabilities utilizing nanotechnology.<h4>Methods</h4>We developed nonplasmonic multi-dye theranostic silica nanoparticles (MDT-NPs), combining NIR fluorescence visualization and photothermal therapy within a single nanoconstruct comprised of molecular components. A modified NIR fluorescent heptamethine cyanine dye was covalently incorporated into a mesoporous silica matrix and a hydrophobic metallo-naphthalocyanine dye with large molar absorptivity was loaded into the pores of these fluorescent particles. The imaging and therapeutic capabilities of these nanoparticles were demonstrated in vivo using a direct tumor injection model.<h4>Results</h4>The fluorescent nanoparticles are bright probes (300-fold enhancement in quantum yield versus free dye) that have a large Stokes shift (>110 nm). Incorporation of the naphthalocyanine dye and exposure to NIR laser excitation results in a temperature increase of the surrounding environment of the MDT-NPs. Tumors injected with these NPs are easily visible with NIR imaging and produce significantly elevated levels of tumor necrosis (95%) upon photothermal ablation compared with controls, as evaluated by bioluminescence and histological analysis.<h4>Conclusion</h4>MDT-NPs are novel, multifunctional nanomaterials that have optical properties dependent upon the unique incorporation of NIR fluorescent and NIR photothermal dyes within a mesoporous silica platform.
Project description:Directed assembly of gold nanorods through the use of dithiolated molecular linkers is one of the most efficient methodologies for the morphologically controlled tip-to-tip assembly of this type of anisotropic nanocrystals. However, in a direct analogy to molecular polymerization synthesis, this process is characterized by difficulties in chain-growth control over nanoparticle oligomers. In particular, it is nearly impossible to favor the formation of one type of oligomer, making the methodology hard to use for actual applications in nanoplasmonics. We propose here a light-controlled synthetic procedure that allows obtaining selected plasmonic oligomers in high yield and with reaction times in the scale of minutes by irradiation with low fluence near-infrared (NIR) femtosecond laser pulses. Selective inhibition of the formation of gold nanorod n-mers (trimers) with a longitudinal localized surface plasmon in resonance with a 800 nm Ti:sapphire laser, allowed efficient trapping of the (n - 1)-mers (dimers) by hot spot mediated photothermal decomposition of the interparticle molecular linkers. Laser irradiation at higher energies produced near-field enhancement at the interparticle gaps, which is large enough to melt gold nanorod tips, offering a new pathway toward tip-to-tip welding of gold nanorod oligomers with a plasmonic response at the NIR. Thorough optical and electron microscopy characterization indicates that plasmonic oligomers can be selectively trapped and welded, which has been analyzed in terms of a model that predicts with reasonable accuracy the relative concentrations of the main plasmonic species.
Project description:We have demonstrated a simple and versatile method for generating a continuously graded, bonelike calcium phosphate coating on a nonwoven mat of electrospun nanofibers. A linear gradient in calcium phosphate content could be achieved across the surface of the nanofiber mat. The gradient had functional consequences with regard to stiffness and biological activity. Specifically, the gradient in mineral content resulted in a gradient in the stiffness of the scaffold and further influenced the activity of mouse preosteoblast MC3T3 cells. This new class of nanofiber-based scaffolds can potentially be employed for repairing the tendon-to-bone insertion site via a tissue engineering approach.
Project description:The aim of this study is to evaluate the microstructures, tensile lap shear strength, and fatigue resistance of 6022-T43 aluminum alloy joints welded via a solid-state welding technique-ultrasonic spot welding (USW)-at different energy levels. An ultra-fine necklace-like equiaxed grain structure is observed along the weld line due to the occurrence of dynamic crystallization, with smaller grain sizes at lower levels of welding energy. The tensile lap shear strength, failure energy, and critical stress intensity of the welded joints first increase, reach their maximum values, and then decrease with increasing welding energy. The tensile lap shear failure mode changes from interfacial fracture at lower energy levels, to nugget pull-out at intermediate optimal energy levels, and to transverse through-thickness (TTT) crack growth at higher energy levels. The fatigue life is longer for the joints welded at an energy of 1400 J than 2000 J at higher cyclic loading levels. The fatigue failure mode changes from nugget pull-out to TTT crack growth with decreasing cyclic loading for the joints welded at 1400 J, while TTT crack growth mode remains at all cyclic loading levels for the joints welded at 2000 J. Fatigue crack basically initiates from the nugget edge, and propagates with "river-flow" patterns and characteristic fatigue striations.
Project description:Quantifying the effect that nanofiber mat chemistry and hydrophilicity have on microorganism collection and inactivation is critical in biomedical applications. In this study, the collection and inactivation of Escherichia coli K12 was examined using cellulose nanofiber mats that were surface-functionalized using three polyelectrolytes: poly (acrylic acid) (PAA), chitosan (CS), and polydiallyldimethylammonium chloride (pDADMAC). The polyelectrolyte functionalized nanofiber mats retained the cylindrical morphology and average fiber diameter (~0.84 µm) of the underlying cellulose nanofibers. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and contact angle measurements confirmed the presence of polycations or polyanions on the surface of the nanofiber mats. Both the control cellulose and pDADMAC-functionalized nanofiber mats exhibited a high collection of E. coli K12, which suggests that mat hydrophilicity may play a larger role than surface charge on cell collection. While the minimum concentration of polycations needed to inhibit E. coli K12 was 800 µg/mL for both CS and pDADMAC, once immobilized, pDADMAC-functionalized nanofiber mats exhibited a higher inactivation of E. coli K12, (~97%). Here, we demonstrate that the collection and inactivation of microorganisms by electrospun cellulose nanofiber mats can be tailored through a facile polyelectrolyte functionalization process.