Special Issue "Nanofibres: Friend or Foe?"

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A special issue of Fibers (ISSN 2079-6439).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2013)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Alke Fink (Website)

Adolphe Merkle Institute, University of Fribourg, Rte de l'Ancienne Papeterie, PO Box 209, 1723 Marly 1, Switzerland
Fax: +41 26 300 96 24
Interests: nanoparticles; synthesis; surface; colloidal properties; particle-cell interactions; magnetic materials
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Barbara Rothen-Rutishauser (Website)

Adolphe Merkle Institute, University of Fribourg, Rte de l'Ancienne Papeterie, PO Box 209, 1723 Marly 1, Switzerland
Fax: +41 26 300 96 24
Guest Editor
Dr. Martin J. D. Clift (Website)

Institute of Life Sciences, College of Medicine, Singleton Park Campus, Swansea University, Swansea, SA2 8PP, Wales, United Kingdom
Fax: +41 26 300 96 24
Interests: nanotoxicology; genotoxicology; immunology; inflammation; cancer; cell signalling; in vitro analysis; cellular entry mechanisms; protein-nanoparticle interactions; nanoparticle-cell interactions; nanofibres; nanoparticles

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Nanofibres, particularly those of a carbonaceous content, have received increased interest in the past two decades due to their outstanding physico-chemical characteristics and their possibility to form and contribute towards a plethora of potentially advantageous materials for consumer, industrial and medical applications. Despite this, and together the numerous research studies and published articles that have sought to investigate these aspects, the potential impact of CNTs is still not understood. Whether or not nanofibres may be able to provide a sophisticated alternative to conventional materials is still debatable, whilst their effects upon both environmental and human health are highly equivocal. How nanofibres are conceived can determine how they may interact with different environments, such as the human body. Understanding each key step of the synthesis and production of nanofibres to their use within potential applications is therefore essential in gaining an insight into how they may be perceived by any biological system and environment. Thus, through obtaining such information will enable all scientific communities to begin to realise the potential advantages posed by nanofibres. The aim of this special issue therefore, is to provide a collective overview of nanofibres; ‘from synthesis to application’. The issue will particularly focus upon carbon-based nanofibres, but will also highlight alternative nanofibre types. Emphasis will be given holistically, with articles discussing the production routes of nanofibres, their plight during their life-cycle (origin to applied form and effects over time), as well as how nanofibres could either incite conflict, or provide aid to human and environmental health.

Prof. Dr. Alke Fink
Prof. Dr. Barbara Rothen-Rutishauser
Dr. Martin J. D. Clift
Guest Editors

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Fibers is an international peer-reviewed Open Access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 300 CHF (Swiss Francs). English correction and/or formatting fees of 250 CHF (Swiss Francs) will be charged in certain cases for those articles accepted for publication that require extensive additional formatting and/or English corrections.

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessFeature PaperEditorial Nanofibers: Friend or Foe?
Fibers 2016, 4(3), 25; doi:10.3390/fib4030025
Received: 27 June 2016 / Revised: 7 July 2016 / Accepted: 8 July 2016 / Published: 2 September 2016
PDF Full-text (147 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract Since the early 1990s nanofibers, particularly those of a carbonaceous content [1] have received heightened interest due to their advantageous physico-chemical characteristics (e.g., high strength, stiffness, semi-conductor, increased thermal conductivity and one of the highest Young’s modulus [2]).[...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanofibres: Friend or Foe?)

Research

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Open AccessArticle Multi-Functional Magnetic Photoluminescent Photocatalytic Polystyrene-Based Micro- and Nano-Fibers Obtained by Electrospinning
Fibers 2014, 2(1), 75-91; doi:10.3390/fib2010075
Received: 30 November 2013 / Revised: 27 January 2014 / Accepted: 6 February 2014 / Published: 25 February 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (712 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This work reports on the implementation of electrospinning (ES) as a facile route to encapsulate nano-engineered materials in a polystyrene (PS) matrix. We applied ES to co-encapsulate two kinds of nanoparticles, i.e., upconversion nanophosphors (UCNPs) and superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs), [...] Read more.
This work reports on the implementation of electrospinning (ES) as a facile route to encapsulate nano-engineered materials in a polystyrene (PS) matrix. We applied ES to co-encapsulate two kinds of nanoparticles, i.e., upconversion nanophosphors (UCNPs) and superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs), in polystyrene (PS)-based micro- and nano-fibers (PSFs). This approach made it possible to integrate near-infrared (NIR) light-sensitive 500-nm β-NaYF4:Yb, Er UCNPs with 10-nm γ-Fe2O3 SPIONs in PS fibers. During the ES process, PSFs were additionally loaded with a well-established singlet oxygen (1g) photosensitizer, rose bengal (RB). The thus obtained PSFs revealed the promising features of prospective multi-functional magnetic photoluminescent photocatalytic nano-constructs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanofibres: Friend or Foe?)
Open AccessArticle Hierarchically Self-Assembled Nanofiber Films from Amylose-Grafted Carboxymethyl Cellulose
Fibers 2014, 2(1), 34-44; doi:10.3390/fib2010034
Received: 18 November 2013 / Revised: 21 January 2014 / Accepted: 22 January 2014 / Published: 28 January 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (783 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this paper, we report the formation of hierarchically self-assembled nanofiber films from amylose-grafted sodium carboxymethyl celluloses (NaCMCs) that were synthesized by a chemoenzymatic approach. First, maltooligosaccharide primer-grafted NaCMCs were prepared by a chemical reaction using two kinds of NaCMCs with different [...] Read more.
In this paper, we report the formation of hierarchically self-assembled nanofiber films from amylose-grafted sodium carboxymethyl celluloses (NaCMCs) that were synthesized by a chemoenzymatic approach. First, maltooligosaccharide primer-grafted NaCMCs were prepared by a chemical reaction using two kinds of NaCMCs with different degrees of polymerization (DPs) from Avicel and cotton sources. Then, phosphorylase-catalyzed enzymatic polymerization of α-d-glucose 1-phosphate from the nonreducing ends of the primer chains on the products was conducted to produce the prescribed amylose-grafted NaCMCs. The films were obtained by drying aqueous alkaline solutions of the amylose-grafted NaCMCs. The scanning electron microscopy (SEM) image of the film fabricated from the material with the higher DP from the cotton source showed a clear, self-assembled, highly condensed tangle of nanofibers. The SEM image of the material with the lower DP from the Avicel source, on the other hand, showed an unclear nanofiber morphology. These results indicate that the DPs of the main chains in the materials strongly affected the hierarchically self-assembled nanofiber formation. The SEM images of the films after washing out the alkali, furthermore, showed that the fibers partially merged with each other at the interfacial area owing to the double helix formation between the amylose-grafted chains. The mechanical properties of the films under tensile mode also depended on the self-assembled morphologies of the amylose-grafted NaCMCs from the different sources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanofibres: Friend or Foe?)

Review

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Open AccessReview The Role of the Protein Corona in Fiber Structure-Activity Relationships
Fibers 2014, 2(3), 187-210; doi:10.3390/fib2030187
Received: 2 May 2014 / Revised: 7 June 2014 / Accepted: 11 June 2014 / Published: 30 June 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (867 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
When nanomaterials enter biological fluids, they are immediately covered by biomolecules, particularly proteins, forming the so-called protein corona. The dynamic nature and complexity of the protein corona can impact upon the biological effects and distribution of nanomaterials with an organism. Therefore, the [...] Read more.
When nanomaterials enter biological fluids, they are immediately covered by biomolecules, particularly proteins, forming the so-called protein corona. The dynamic nature and complexity of the protein corona can impact upon the biological effects and distribution of nanomaterials with an organism. Therefore, the protein corona is an important factor in determining the biological impact of any nanomaterials. The protein adsorption pattern is determined by various factors, including the bio-fluids’ protein composition, the nanomaterials’ physicochemical properties, as well as the time and type of exposure. Predominantly, research has focused upon spherical nano-objects, however, due to their ever-increasing potential use within human based applications, and, therefore, heightening and inevitable exposure to the human body, little is known regarding how proteins interact with nanofibers. Therefore, the present review focuses on the current knowledge as to how the geometry of man-made (nano)fibers, carbon nanotubes (in comparison with asbestos fibers), affects their interaction with proteins within biological fluids. Summarizing state-of the art methodologies applied to dissect protein-binding signatures, it is further discussed whether the protein corona composition of fibrous and non-fibrous materials differ, as well as what impact the protein corona has on (nano)fiber uptake, intracellular distribution and their subsequent toxicity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanofibres: Friend or Foe?)
Figures

Open AccessReview High Strength and High Modulus Electrospun Nanofibers
Fibers 2014, 2(2), 158-186; doi:10.3390/fib2020158
Received: 12 February 2014 / Revised: 19 March 2014 / Accepted: 9 April 2014 / Published: 30 April 2014
Cited by 29 | PDF Full-text (1521 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Electrospinning is a rapidly growing polymer processing technology as it provides a viable and simple method to create ultra-fine continuous fibers. This paper presents an in-depth review of the mechanical properties of electrospun fibers and particularly focuses on methodologies to generate high [...] Read more.
Electrospinning is a rapidly growing polymer processing technology as it provides a viable and simple method to create ultra-fine continuous fibers. This paper presents an in-depth review of the mechanical properties of electrospun fibers and particularly focuses on methodologies to generate high strength and high modulus nanofibers. As such, it aims to provide some guidance to future research activities in the area of high performance electrospun fibers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanofibres: Friend or Foe?)
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Open AccessReview Release of Carbon Nanotubes from Polymer Nanocomposites
Fibers 2014, 2(2), 108-127; doi:10.3390/fib2020108
Received: 11 February 2014 / Revised: 21 March 2014 / Accepted: 21 March 2014 / Published: 28 March 2014
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (2394 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Carbon nanotube (CNT)/polymer nanocomposites have superior properties compared to the neat polymer matrix. They now are widely used in industry, but questions have been raised about the risks of such materials since CNTs can be toxic when inhaled. For a risk assessment [...] Read more.
Carbon nanotube (CNT)/polymer nanocomposites have superior properties compared to the neat polymer matrix. They now are widely used in industry, but questions have been raised about the risks of such materials since CNTs can be toxic when inhaled. For a risk assessment of CNT nanocomposites, it is crucial to know whether CNTs from nanocomposites can be released into the environment or if they remain embedded in the matrix. This review article summarizes the studies that investigated the release of CNTs from nanocomposites during the service life. Three scenarios are reviewed, the release of particles due to mechanical impact, the release due to weathering processes, and the release due to fire. A release during composite production and disposal is not incorporated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanofibres: Friend or Foe?)
Open AccessReview The Significance and Insignificance of Carbon Nanotube-Induced Inflammation
Fibers 2014, 2(1), 45-74; doi:10.3390/fib2010045
Received: 24 December 2013 / Revised: 5 February 2014 / Accepted: 13 February 2014 / Published: 19 February 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (539 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the present review article immune responses induced by carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are addressed. As inhalation is considered to be the primary entry route, and concern has been raised by similar high aspect ratio materials, the main focus lies on immune responses [...] Read more.
In the present review article immune responses induced by carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are addressed. As inhalation is considered to be the primary entry route, and concern has been raised by similar high aspect ratio materials, the main focus lies on immune responses upon pulmonary exposure. Inflammation-related findings from both in vivo studies and in vitro models are reviewed, and the major responsible characteristics, which may drive CNT-induced inflammation in the lung, are discussed. In a second part, responses upon intentional administration of CNTs via subcutaneous and intravenous application are addressed, including their potential benefits and drawbacks for immunotherapy. Finally, the gastrointestinal tract as an alternative exposure route is briefly discussed. While there are many studies identifying numerous other factors involved in CNT-driven toxicity, e.g., cytotoxicity, oxidative stress, and genotoxicity, the focus of this review was kept solely on CNT-induced inflammation. Overall the literature has shown that CNTs are able to induce inflammation, which in some cases was a particularly robust response coinciding with the development of pro-fibrotic conditions. In the majority of cases the greatest inflammatory responses were associated with CNTs of considerable length and a high aspect ratio, accompanied by other factors like dispersion and sample purity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanofibres: Friend or Foe?)

Other

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Open AccessOpinion Elucidating the Potential Biological Impact of Cellulose Nanocrystals
Fibers 2016, 4(3), 21; doi:10.3390/fib4030021
Received: 3 May 2016 / Accepted: 20 June 2016 / Published: 8 July 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (608 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cellulose nanocrystals exhibit an interesting combination of mechanical properties and physical characteristics, which make them potentially useful for a wide range of consumer applications. However, as the usage of these bio-based nanofibers increases, a greater understanding of human exposure addressing their potential [...] Read more.
Cellulose nanocrystals exhibit an interesting combination of mechanical properties and physical characteristics, which make them potentially useful for a wide range of consumer applications. However, as the usage of these bio-based nanofibers increases, a greater understanding of human exposure addressing their potential health issues should be gained. The aim of this perspective is to highlight how knowledge obtained from studying the biological impact of other nanomaterials can provide a basis for future research strategies to deduce the possible human health risks posed by cellulose nanocrystals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanofibres: Friend or Foe?)

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