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Special Issue "Electrospun Materials"

A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 December 2015)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Nicole Zander

Weapons and Materials Research Directorate, US Army Research Laboratory Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD 21005 USA
E-Mail
Interests: nanofibers, multifunctional materials, tissue engineering, antimicrobial materials, additive manufacturing, 3D printing, biomaterial interfaces and surfaces, bacterial adhesion
Guest Editor
Dr. Hong Dong

US Army Research Laboratory, Sensors and Electronic Devices Adelphi, MD 20783, USA
E-Mail
Interests: nanofibers; nanocellulose; composites; nanoparticles

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Electrospinning is a straightforward and versatile technique to fabricate nanofibers. Various polymers, ceramics, and metals have been successfully spun into ultrafine fibers from solutions and melts. The submicron to nanometer dimensions of the fibers enables interesting properties due to the very high surface area to volume ratio, surface functionality, and superior mechanical performance compared to any other form of the material. These properties make nanofiber materials ideal candidates for many applications, including composite reinforcement, filtration, tissue engineering and drug delivery, sensing, smart materials, and energy harvesting and storage. Through control of processing parameters, such as chemistry, humidity, solvent, collector type, and electric field strength, a variety of hierarchical structures (helices, core-shell, nanoporous, etc.) expand the applications further into fields, such as photonics, metamaterials, nanoelectronics, nanofluidics, and catalysis.  The main aim of this Special Issue on “Electrospun Materials” is to capture the current state of research related to these materials in terms of theory, processing, and applications. This issue will provide an in-depth review of the current work in the field, and also point to emerging and future research directions.

We are pleased to invite you to submit manuscripts for the Special Issue on “Electrospun Materials” in the form of full research papers, communications, and review articles. We look forward to your contribution in this Special Issue.

Dr. Nicole Zander
Dr. Hong Dong 
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short 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 thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Materials is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly 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 1500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • electrospinning
  • nanofibers
  • biomaterials
  • scaffold
  • composites
  • membrane
  • hierarchical nanofibers
  • inorganic nanofibers

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Polyelectrolyte-Functionalized Nanofiber Mats Control the Collection and Inactivation of Escherichia coli
Materials 2016, 9(4), 297; doi:10.3390/ma9040297
Received: 30 December 2015 / Revised: 28 March 2016 / Accepted: 12 April 2016 / Published: 19 April 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (3217 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
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:
[...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electrospun Materials)
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Open AccessArticle Electrospun 3D Fibrous Scaffolds for Chronic Wound Repair
Materials 2016, 9(4), 272; doi:10.3390/ma9040272
Received: 18 January 2016 / Revised: 16 March 2016 / Accepted: 30 March 2016 / Published: 6 April 2016
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (2417 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Chronic wounds are difficult to heal spontaneously largely due to the corrupted extracellular matrix (ECM) where cell ingrowth is obstructed. Thus, the objective of this study was to develop a three-dimensional (3D) biodegradable scaffold mimicking native ECM to replace the missing or dysfunctional
[...] Read more.
Chronic wounds are difficult to heal spontaneously largely due to the corrupted extracellular matrix (ECM) where cell ingrowth is obstructed. Thus, the objective of this study was to develop a three-dimensional (3D) biodegradable scaffold mimicking native ECM to replace the missing or dysfunctional ECM, which may be an essential strategy for wound healing. The 3D fibrous scaffolds of poly(lactic acid-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) were successfully fabricated by liquid-collecting electrospinning, with 5~20 µm interconnected pores. Surface modification with the native ECM component aims at providing biological recognition for cell growth. Human dermal fibroblasts (HDFs) successfully infiltrated into scaffolds at a depth of ~1400 µm after seven days of culturing, and showed significant progressive proliferation on scaffolds immobilized with collagen type I. In vivo models showed that chronic wounds treated with scaffolds had a faster healing rate. These results indicate that the 3D fibrous scaffolds may be a potential wound dressing for chronic wound repair. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electrospun Materials)
Open AccessArticle Fabrication of Microfiber Patterns with Ivy Shoot-Like Geometries Using Improved Electrospinning
Materials 2016, 9(4), 266; doi:10.3390/ma9040266
Received: 22 December 2015 / Revised: 8 January 2016 / Accepted: 27 January 2016 / Published: 1 April 2016
PDF Full-text (3278 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Fibers and fibrous structures are used extensively in various fields due to their many advantages. Microfibers, as well as nanofibers, are considered to be some of the most valuable forms of advanced materials. Accordingly, various methods for fabricating microfibers have been developed. Electrospinning
[...] Read more.
Fibers and fibrous structures are used extensively in various fields due to their many advantages. Microfibers, as well as nanofibers, are considered to be some of the most valuable forms of advanced materials. Accordingly, various methods for fabricating microfibers have been developed. Electrospinning is a useful fabrication method for continuous polymeric nano- and microfibers with attractive merits. However, this technique has limitations in its ability to control the geometry of fibrous structures. Herein, advanced electrospinning with direct-writing functionality was used to fabricate microfiber patterns with ivy shoot-like geometries after experimentally investigating the effects of the process conditions on the fiber formation. The surface properties of the fibers were also modified by introducing nanoscale pores through the use of higher levels of humidity during the fabrication process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electrospun Materials)
Open AccessArticle Recycled PET Nanofibers for Water Filtration Applications
Materials 2016, 9(4), 247; doi:10.3390/ma9040247
Received: 17 December 2015 / Revised: 21 March 2016 / Accepted: 23 March 2016 / Published: 30 March 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (6422 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Water shortage is an immediate and serious threat to our world population. Inexpensive and scalable methods to clean freshwater and wastewater are in high demand. Nanofiber filtration membranes represent a next generation nonwoven filter media due to their unique properties. Polyethlyene terephthalate (PET)
[...] Read more.
Water shortage is an immediate and serious threat to our world population. Inexpensive and scalable methods to clean freshwater and wastewater are in high demand. Nanofiber filtration membranes represent a next generation nonwoven filter media due to their unique properties. Polyethlyene terephthalate (PET) is often used in the packaging of water and other commonly used materials, leading to a large amount of plastic waste often with limited incentive for recycling (few value-added uses). Here, we present work in the generation of nanofiber liquid filtration membranes from PET plastic bottles and demonstrate their use in microfiltration. PET nanofiber membranes were formed via solution electrospinning with fiber diameters as low as ca. 100 nm. Filtration efficiency was tested with latex beads with sizes ranging from 30 to 2000 nm. Greater than 99% of the beads as small as 500 nm were removed using gravity filtration. To reduce biofouling, the mats were functionalized with quaternary ammonium and biguanide biocides. The biguanide functionalized mats achieved 6 log reduction for both gram negative and gram positive bacteria. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electrospun Materials)
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Open AccessArticle Aqueous-Based Coaxial Electrospinning of Genetically Engineered Silk Elastin Core-Shell Nanofibers
Materials 2016, 9(4), 221; doi:10.3390/ma9040221
Received: 21 January 2016 / Revised: 11 March 2016 / Accepted: 17 March 2016 / Published: 23 March 2016
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (3821 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A nanofabrication method for the production of flexible core-shell structured silk elastin nanofibers is presented, based on an all-aqueous coaxial electrospinning process. In this process, silk fibroin (SF) and silk-elastin-like protein polymer (SELP), both in aqueous solution, with high and low viscosity, respectively,
[...] Read more.
A nanofabrication method for the production of flexible core-shell structured silk elastin nanofibers is presented, based on an all-aqueous coaxial electrospinning process. In this process, silk fibroin (SF) and silk-elastin-like protein polymer (SELP), both in aqueous solution, with high and low viscosity, respectively, were used as the inner (core) and outer (shell) layers of the nanofibers. The electrospinnable SF core solution served as a spinning aid for the nonelectrospinnable SELP shell solution. Uniform nanofibers with average diameter from 301 ± 108 nm to 408 ± 150 nm were obtained through adjusting the processing parameters. The core-shell structures of the nanofibers were confirmed by fluorescence and electron microscopy. In order to modulate the mechanical properties and provide stability in water, the as-spun SF-SELP nanofiber mats were treated with methanol vapor to induce β-sheet physical crosslinks. FTIR confirmed the conversion of the secondary structure from a random coil to β-sheets after the methanol treatment. Tensile tests of SF-SELP core-shell structured nanofibers showed good flexibility with elongation at break of 5.20% ± 0.57%, compared with SF nanofibers with an elongation at break of 1.38% ± 0.22%. The SF-SELP core-shell structured nanofibers should provide useful options to explore in the field of biomaterials due to the improved flexibility of the fibrous mats and the presence of a dynamic SELP layer on the outer surface. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electrospun Materials)
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Open AccessArticle Preparation and Evaluation of Dexamethasone-Loaded Electrospun Nanofiber Sheets as a Sustained Drug Delivery System
Materials 2016, 9(3), 175; doi:10.3390/ma9030175
Received: 29 December 2015 / Revised: 31 January 2016 / Accepted: 1 March 2016 / Published: 8 March 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (3787 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Recently, electrospinning technology has been widely used as a processing method to make nanofiber sheets (NS) for biomedical applications because of its unique features, such as ease of fabrication and high surface area. To develop a sustained dexamethasone (Dex) delivery system, in this
[...] Read more.
Recently, electrospinning technology has been widely used as a processing method to make nanofiber sheets (NS) for biomedical applications because of its unique features, such as ease of fabrication and high surface area. To develop a sustained dexamethasone (Dex) delivery system, in this work, poly(ε-caprolactone-co-l-lactide) (PCLA) copolymer with controllable biodegradability was synthesized and further utilized to prepare electrospun Dex-loaded NS using water-insoluble Dex (Dex(b)) or water-soluble Dex (Dex(s)). The Dex-NS obtained by electrospinning exhibited randomly oriented and interconnected fibrillar structures. The in vitro and in vivo degradation of Dex-NS was confirmed over a period of a few weeks by gel permeation chromatography (GPC) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). The evaluation of in vitro and in vivo Dex(b) and Dex(s) release from Dex-NS showed an initial burst of Dex(b) at day 1 and, thereafter, almost the same amount of release as Dex(b) for up to 28 days. In contrast, Dex(s)-NS exhibited a small initial burst of Dex(s) and a first-order releasing profile from Dex-NS. In conclusion, Dex-NS exhibited sustained in vitro and in vivo Dex(s) release for a prolonged period, as well as controlled biodegradation of the NS over a defined treatment period. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electrospun Materials)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Electrospun Nafion®/Polyphenylsulfone Composite Membranes for Regenerative Hydrogen Bromine Fuel Cells
Materials 2016, 9(3), 143; doi:10.3390/ma9030143
Received: 21 January 2016 / Revised: 10 February 2016 / Accepted: 18 February 2016 / Published: 29 February 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (4467 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The regenerative H2/Br2-HBr fuel cell, utilizing an oxidant solution of Br2 in aqueous HBr, shows a number of benefits for grid-scale electricity storage. The membrane-electrode assembly, a key component of a fuel cell, contains a proton-conducting membrane, typically
[...] Read more.
The regenerative H2/Br2-HBr fuel cell, utilizing an oxidant solution of Br2 in aqueous HBr, shows a number of benefits for grid-scale electricity storage. The membrane-electrode assembly, a key component of a fuel cell, contains a proton-conducting membrane, typically based on the perfluorosulfonic acid (PFSA) ionomer. Unfortunately, the high cost of PFSA membranes and their relatively high bromine crossover are serious drawbacks. Nanofiber composite membranes can overcome these limitations. In this work, composite membranes were prepared from electrospun dual-fiber mats containing Nafion® PFSA ionomer for facile proton transport and an uncharged polymer, polyphenylsulfone (PPSU), for mechanical reinforcement, and swelling control. After electrospinning, Nafion/PPSU mats were converted into composite membranes by softening the PPSU fibers, through exposure to chloroform vapor, thus filling the voids between ionomer nanofibers. It was demonstrated that the relative membrane selectivity, referenced to Nafion® 115, increased with increasing PPSU content, e.g., a selectivity of 11 at 25 vol% of Nafion fibers. H2-Br2 fuel cell power output with a 65 μm thick membrane containing 55 vol% Nafion fibers was somewhat better than that of a 150 μm Nafion® 115 reference, but its cost advantage due to a four-fold decrease in PFSA content and a lower bromine species crossover make it an attractive candidate for use in H2/Br2-HBr systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electrospun Materials)
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Open AccessArticle Surface Functional Poly(lactic Acid) Electrospun Nanofibers for Biosensor Applications
Materials 2016, 9(1), 47; doi:10.3390/ma9010047
Received: 24 November 2015 / Revised: 5 January 2016 / Accepted: 7 January 2016 / Published: 14 January 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1258 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
In this work, biotin surface functionalized hydrophilic non-water-soluble biocompatible poly(lactic acid) (PLA) nanofibers are created for their potential use as biosensors. Varying concentrations of biotin (up to 18 weight total percent (wt %)) were incorporated into PLA fibers together with poly(lactic acid)-block-poly(ethylene glycol)
[...] Read more.
In this work, biotin surface functionalized hydrophilic non-water-soluble biocompatible poly(lactic acid) (PLA) nanofibers are created for their potential use as biosensors. Varying concentrations of biotin (up to 18 weight total percent (wt %)) were incorporated into PLA fibers together with poly(lactic acid)-block-poly(ethylene glycol) (PLA-b-PEG) block polymers. While biotin provided surface functionalization, PLA-b-PEG provided hydrophilicity to the final fibers. Morphology and surface-available biotin of the final fibers were studied by Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy (FESEM) and competitive colorimetric assays. The incorporation of PLA-b-PEG block copolymers not only decreased fiber diameters but also dramatically increased the amount of biotin available at the fiber surface able to bind avidin. Finally, fiber water stability tests revealed that both biotin and PLA-b-PEG, migrated to the aqueous phase after relatively extended periods of water exposure. The functional hydrophilic nanofiber created in this work shows a potential application as a biosensor for point-of-care diagnostics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electrospun Materials)
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Open AccessArticle Inactivated Sendai Virus (HVJ-E) Immobilized Electrospun Nanofiber for Cancer Therapy
Materials 2016, 9(1), 12; doi:10.3390/ma9010012
Received: 11 November 2015 / Revised: 17 December 2015 / Accepted: 17 December 2015 / Published: 26 December 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (5913 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Inactivated Hemagglutinating Virus of Japan Envelope (HVJ-E) was immobilized on electrospun nanofibers of poly(ε-caprolactone) by layer-by-layer (LbL) assembly technique. The precursor LbL film was first constructed with poly-L-lysine and alginic acid via electrostatic interaction. Then the HVJ-E particles were immobilized on
[...] Read more.
Inactivated Hemagglutinating Virus of Japan Envelope (HVJ-E) was immobilized on electrospun nanofibers of poly(ε-caprolactone) by layer-by-layer (LbL) assembly technique. The precursor LbL film was first constructed with poly-L-lysine and alginic acid via electrostatic interaction. Then the HVJ-E particles were immobilized on the cationic PLL outermost surface. The HVJ-E adsorption was confirmed by surface wettability test, scanning laser microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and confocal laser microscopy. The immobilized HVJ-E particles were released from the nanofibers under physiological condition. In vitro cytotoxic assay demonstrated that the released HVJ-E from nanofibers induced cancer cell deaths. This surface immobilization technique is possible to perform on anti-cancer drug incorporated nanofibers that enables the fibers to show chemotherapy and immunotherapy simultaneously for an effective eradication of tumor cells in vivo. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electrospun Materials)
Open AccessArticle Thermal, Electrical and Surface Hydrophobic Properties of Electrospun Polyacrylonitrile Nanofibers for Structural Health Monitoring
Materials 2015, 8(10), 7017-7031; doi:10.3390/ma8105356
Received: 24 August 2015 / Revised: 16 September 2015 / Accepted: 30 September 2015 / Published: 14 October 2015
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (4271 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper presents an idea of using carbonized electrospun Polyacrylonitrile (PAN) fibers as a sensor material in a structural health monitoring (SHM) system. The electrospun PAN fibers are lightweight, less costly and do not interfere with the functioning of infrastructure. This study deals
[...] Read more.
This paper presents an idea of using carbonized electrospun Polyacrylonitrile (PAN) fibers as a sensor material in a structural health monitoring (SHM) system. The electrospun PAN fibers are lightweight, less costly and do not interfere with the functioning of infrastructure. This study deals with the fabrication of PAN-based nanofibers via electrospinning followed by stabilization and carbonization in order to remove all non-carbonaceous material and ensure pure carbon fibers as the resulting material. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy was used to determine the ionic conductivity of PAN fibers. The X-ray diffraction study showed that the repeated peaks near 42° on the activated nanofiber film were α and β phases, respectively, with crystalline forms. Contact angle, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) were also employed to examine the surface, thermal and chemical properties of the carbonized electrospun PAN fibers. The test results indicated that the carbonized PAN nanofibers have superior physical properties, which may be useful for structural health monitoring (SHM) applications in different industries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electrospun Materials)

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessFeature PaperReview Potential of Electrospun Nanofibers for Biomedical and Dental Applications
Materials 2016, 9(2), 73; doi:10.3390/ma9020073
Received: 29 November 2015 / Revised: 6 January 2016 / Accepted: 18 January 2016 / Published: 26 January 2016
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (1309 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Electrospinning is a versatile technique that has gained popularity for various biomedical applications in recent years. Electrospinning is being used for fabricating nanofibers for various biomedical and dental applications such as tooth regeneration, wound healing and prevention of dental caries. Electrospun materials have
[...] Read more.
Electrospinning is a versatile technique that has gained popularity for various biomedical applications in recent years. Electrospinning is being used for fabricating nanofibers for various biomedical and dental applications such as tooth regeneration, wound healing and prevention of dental caries. Electrospun materials have the benefits of unique properties for instance, high surface area to volume ratio, enhanced cellular interactions, protein absorption to facilitate binding sites for cell receptors. Extensive research has been conducted to explore the potential of electrospun nanofibers for repair and regeneration of various dental and oral tissues including dental pulp, dentin, periodontal tissues, oral mucosa and skeletal tissues. However, there are a few limitations of electrospinning hindering the progress of these materials to practical or clinical applications. In terms of biomaterials aspects, the better understanding of controlled fabrication, properties and functioning of electrospun materials is required to overcome the limitations. More in vivo studies are definitely required to evaluate the biocompatibility of electrospun scaffolds. Furthermore, mechanical properties of such scaffolds should be enhanced so that they resist mechanical stresses during tissue regeneration applications. The objective of this article is to review the current progress of electrospun nanofibers for biomedical and dental applications. In addition, various aspects of electrospun materials in relation to potential dental applications have been discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electrospun Materials)
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