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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.

SUBMITTER: Wu T 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6829033 | BioStudies | 2019-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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