Special Issue "Electrospun Nanofibers: Theory and Its Applications"

A special issue of Polymers (ISSN 2073-4360). This special issue belongs to the section "Polymer Applications".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 February 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Suman Sinha Ray
Website
Guest Editor
1. Corporate Innovation Center, United States Gypsum, 700 N US-45, Libertyville, IL 60048, USA
2. Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), 842 West Taylor Street, M/C 251, Room 2039ERF Chicago, IL 60607-7022, USA
Interests: experimental and theoretical study of production methods of nonwovens (electrospinning, solution blowing, and melt blowing); advanced manufacturing; experimental and theoretical thermal–fluid sciences at the micro/nanoscale; polymer and oxide materials; nanostructured materials; drug delivery; alternative energy; building science; acoustics
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Electrospinning is one of the most versatile methods for producing polymer nanofibers en masse. In this process, the polymer jet is subjected to a very high electric field (~1–2 kv/cm). This results in vigorous stretching and bending of the viscoelatic polymer jet, as a result of which, the polymer jet diameter attenuates from the 1 mm order to ~ 100 nm. This sophisticated yet simple method of producing polymer nanofibers opens significant opportunities for research and new applications in various fields, from drug delivery to cell growth control, thermal management, energy storage applications, and others.

This Special Issue will deal with all the possible applications and theoretical studies regarding electrospinning and electrospinning-related process. The possible topics include, but are not limited to, electrospinning of novel nanofibers, biological applications, filtration, energy storage, studies of basic physical sciences using electrospun nanofibers, novel materials derived from the post-processing of nanofibers (e.g., oxide materials, organometallic materials, etc.), and others. Both original contributions and reviews are welcome.

Dr. Suman Sinha-Ray
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • Electrospinning
  • Nanofibers
  • Nanomaterials
  • Energy Storage
  • Biological Applications
  • Filtration
  • Theory

Published Papers (17 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Electrospinning and Post-Spun Chain Conformations of Synthetic, Hydrophobic Poly(α-amino acid)s
Polymers 2020, 12(2), 327; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12020327 - 04 Feb 2020
Abstract
Electrospinning and post-spun conformations of hydrophobic poly(α-amino acid)s are described in this study. The poly(α-amino acid)s, poly(Gly), poly(l-Ala), poly(l-Val), and poly(l-Leu) were synthesized via corresponding N-carboxy-α-amino acid anhydrides. The average [...] Read more.
Electrospinning and post-spun conformations of hydrophobic poly(α-amino acid)s are described in this study. The poly(α-amino acid)s, poly(Gly), poly(l-Ala), poly(l-Val), and poly(l-Leu) were synthesized via corresponding N-carboxy-α-amino acid anhydrides. The average molecular weight and degree of polymerization of these polymers were determined by N-terminus labeling using 2,4-dinitrofluorobenzene and by viscometry in the case of poly(Gly). These poly(α-amino acid)s were electrospun from trifluoroacetic acid or trifluoroacetic acid/dichloromethane solutions. The FT-IR spectroscopy and wide-angle X-ray diffraction indicated that the electrospun poly(l-Ala) and poly(l-Leu) fibers predominantly adopts α-helical structure, whereas poly(l-Val) and poly(Gly) fibers exhibited mainly β-strand and random coil structures, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electrospun Nanofibers: Theory and Its Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Improved Nylon 6,6 Nanofiber Membrane in A Tilted Panel Filtration System for Fouling Control in Microalgae Harvesting
Polymers 2020, 12(2), 252; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12020252 - 21 Jan 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
The competitiveness of algae as biofuel feedstock leads to the growth of membrane filtration as one of promising technologies for algae harvesting. Nanofiber membrane (NFM) was found to be efficient for microalgae harvesting via membrane filtration, but it is highly limited by its [...] Read more.
The competitiveness of algae as biofuel feedstock leads to the growth of membrane filtration as one of promising technologies for algae harvesting. Nanofiber membrane (NFM) was found to be efficient for microalgae harvesting via membrane filtration, but it is highly limited by its weak mechanical strength. The main objective of this study is to enhance the applicability of nylon 6,6 NFM for microalgae filtration by optimizing the operational parameters and applying solvent vapor treatment to improve its mechanical strength. The relaxation period and filtration cycle could be optimized to improve the hydraulic performance. For a cycle of 5 min., relaxation period of ≤2 min shows the highest steady-state permeability of 365 ± 14.14 L m−2 h−1 bar−1, while for 10 min cycle, 3 min. of relaxation period was found optimum that yields permeability of 402 ± 34.47 L m−2 h−1 bar−1. The treated nylon 6,6 NFM was also used to study the effect of aeration rate. It is confirmed that the aeration rate enhances the steady-state performance for both intermittent and continuous mode of aeration. Remarkably, intermittent aeration shows 7% better permeability than the full aeration for all tested condition, which is beneficial for reducing the total energy consumption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electrospun Nanofibers: Theory and Its Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
White Graphene-Cobalt Oxide Hybrid Filler Reinforced Polystyrene Nanofibers for Selective Oil Absorption
Polymers 2020, 12(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12010004 - 18 Dec 2019
Abstract
In this work, stable hydrophobic nanocomposites are made from electrospun fibers of polystyrene (PS) containing a hybrid filler combination of (i) hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) and (ii) cobalt oxide (Co3O4) nanomaterials. Good synergistic interaction is observed between the nanomaterials, [...] Read more.
In this work, stable hydrophobic nanocomposites are made from electrospun fibers of polystyrene (PS) containing a hybrid filler combination of (i) hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) and (ii) cobalt oxide (Co3O4) nanomaterials. Good synergistic interaction is observed between the nanomaterials, since the growth of Co3O4 was carried out in presence of white graphene nanosheets. Filler synergy modifies the PS surfaces, by enhancing the filler-polymer interfacial interactions and provides good tensile strength. The hydrophobic films are gamma irradiated to improve crosslinking within the polymer nanocomposites. Since gamma irradiation enhances the surface roughness, its hydrophobicity/oleophilicity increases much and the final nanofibers show good oil-water separation efficiency. The nanofibers act as sponge clothing to skim the oil from a mixture of oil and water. Durability of the fibers in hot water and in presence of ultrasonic waves is also tested and good response is achieved. Contact angle studies are performed to investigate the surface properties and to check the influence of gamma irradiation on the surface wettability. The gamma-irradiated PS nanocomposite fiber shows a contact angle of 152° ± 2° compared to the 140° ± 1° of the neat PS fiber, evidencing the superhydrophobicity. Both the effects of crosslink density enhancement and hybrid filler distribution make the composite fibers stronger in oil absorption application even at higher operation temperatures. The fibers are reported to be robust and durable, in addition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electrospun Nanofibers: Theory and Its Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Improving Performance of Electrospun Nylon 6,6 Nanofiber Membrane for Produced Water Filtration via Solvent Vapor Treatment
Polymers 2019, 11(12), 2117; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11122117 - 17 Dec 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Electrospun nanofiber membrane (NFM) has a high potential to be applied as a filter for produced water treatment due to its highly porous structure and great permeability. However, it faces fouling issues and has low mechanical properties, which reduces the performance and lifespan [...] Read more.
Electrospun nanofiber membrane (NFM) has a high potential to be applied as a filter for produced water treatment due to its highly porous structure and great permeability. However, it faces fouling issues and has low mechanical properties, which reduces the performance and lifespan of the membrane. NFM has a low integrity and the fine mat easily detaches from the sheet. In this study, nylon 6,6 was selected as the polymer since it offers great hydrophilicity. In order to increase mechanical strength and separation performance of NFM, solvent vapor treatment was implemented where the vapor induces the fusion of fibers. The fabricated nylon 6,6 NFMs were treated with different exposure times of formic acid vapor. Results show that solvent vapor treatment helps to induce the fusion of overlapping fibers. The optimum exposure time for solvent vapor is 5 h to offer full retention of dispersed oil (100% of oil rejection), has 62% higher in tensile strength (1950 MPa) compared to untreated nylon 6,6 NFM (738 MPa), and has the final permeability closest to the untreated nylon 6,6 NFM (733 L/m2.h.bar). It also took more time to get fouled (220 min) compared to untreated NFM (160 min). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electrospun Nanofibers: Theory and Its Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Enhancement of Solvent Resistance of Polyimide Electrospun Mat via the UV-Assisted Electrospinning and Photosensitive Varnish
Polymers 2019, 11(12), 2055; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11122055 - 11 Dec 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
A new methodology for enhancing the solvent resistance of electrospun polyimide (PI) ultrafine fibrous mat (UFM) was investigated in the current work. For this purpose, a negative intrinsically photosensitive polyimide (PSPI) resin was prepared by the one-step high- temperature polycondensation procedure from 3,3’,4,4’-benzophenonetetracarboxylic [...] Read more.
A new methodology for enhancing the solvent resistance of electrospun polyimide (PI) ultrafine fibrous mat (UFM) was investigated in the current work. For this purpose, a negative intrinsically photosensitive polyimide (PSPI) resin was prepared by the one-step high- temperature polycondensation procedure from 3,3’,4,4’-benzophenonetetracarboxylic dianhydride (BTDA) and α,α-bis(4-amino-3,5-dimethylphenyl)phenylmethane (PTMDA). The PI varnish, by dissolving the derived PI (BTDA-PTMDA) resin in N,N-dimethylacetamide (DMAc) at a solid of 20 wt %, was used as the starting material for the standard electrospinning (ES) and ultraviolet-assisted ES (UVAES) fabrications, respectively. The 365 nm wavelength of the high-pressure mercury lamp ultraviolet (UV) irradiation induced the photocrosslinking reaction in the PSPI mat. Solubility tests indicated that the PI UFM fabricated by standard ES procedure showed poor DMAc resistance, while the one by UVAES (PI-UV) exhibited excellent resistance to DMAc. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electrospun Nanofibers: Theory and Its Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Fabrication and Characterization of Carboxymethyl Starch/Poly(l-Lactide) Acid/β-Tricalcium Phosphate Composite Nanofibers via Electrospinning
Polymers 2019, 11(9), 1468; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11091468 - 09 Sep 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
A natural polymer of carboxymethyl starch (CMS) was used in combination with the inorganic mineral of β-Tricalcium Phosphate (β-TCP) and Poly l-lactide (PLLA) to prepare composite nanofibers with the potential to be used as a biomedical membrane. β-TCP contents varied in the [...] Read more.
A natural polymer of carboxymethyl starch (CMS) was used in combination with the inorganic mineral of β-Tricalcium Phosphate (β-TCP) and Poly l-lactide (PLLA) to prepare composite nanofibers with the potential to be used as a biomedical membrane. β-TCP contents varied in the range of 0.25% to 1% in the composition of PLLA and CMS. A mixed composition of these organic and inorganic materials was electro-spun to produce composite nanofibers. Morphological investigation indicated that smooth and uniform nanofibers could be produced via this technique. The average of the nanofiber diameters was slightly increased from 190 to 265 nm with the β-TCP content but some agglomeration of particles began to impede in the fiber at a higher content of β-TCP. It was observed that the fibers were damaged at a higher content of β-TCP nanoparticles. With the presence of higher β-TCP, the wettability of the PLLA was also improved, as indicated by the water contact angle measurement from 127.3° to 118°. The crystallization in the composite decreased, as shown in the changes in glass transition (Tg) and melting temperature (Tm) by differential scanning calorimeter (DSC) and X-ray diffraction analysis. Increases in β-TCP contributed to weaker mechanical strength, from 8.5 to 5.7 MPa, due to imperfect fiber structure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electrospun Nanofibers: Theory and Its Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Enriched Mechanical Strength and Bone Mineralisation of Electrospun Biomimetic Scaffold Laden with Ylang Ylang Oil and Zinc Nitrate for Bone Tissue Engineering
Polymers 2019, 11(8), 1323; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11081323 - 08 Aug 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Scaffolds supplemented with naturally derived materials seem to be a good choice in bone tissue engineering. This study aims to develop polyurethane (PU) nanofibers added with ylang ylang (YY) and zinc nitrate (ZnNO3) using the electrospinning method. Field emission scanning electron [...] Read more.
Scaffolds supplemented with naturally derived materials seem to be a good choice in bone tissue engineering. This study aims to develop polyurethane (PU) nanofibers added with ylang ylang (YY) and zinc nitrate (ZnNO3) using the electrospinning method. Field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) images showed that the diameter of the PU nanofibers (869 ± 122 nm) was reduced with the addition of YY and ZnNO3 (PU/YY—467 ± 132 nm and PU/YY/ZnNO3—290 ± 163 nm). Fourier transform infrared (FTIR), a thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA) and an X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis confirmed the interactions between PU with YY and ZnNO3. In addition, a thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA) study revealed the improved thermal stability for PU/YY and a slight reduction in the thermal stability for PU/YY/ZnNO3. A tensile test indicated that the addition of YY and ZnNO3 (PU/YY—12.32 MPa and PU/YY/ZnNO3—14.90 MPa) improved the mechanical properties of the pristine PU (6.83 MPa). The electrospun PU/YY (524 nm) and PU/YY/ZnNO3 (284 nm) showed a reduced surface roughness when compared with the pristine PU (776 nm) as depicted in the atomic force microscopy (AFM) analysis. The addition of YY and ZnNO3 improved the anticoagulant and biocompatibility nature of the pristine PU. Furthermore, the bone mineralization study depicted the improved calcium deposition in the fabricated composites (PU/YY—7.919% and PU/YY/ZnNO3—10.150%) compared to the pristine PU (5.323%). Hence, the developed composites with desirable physico-chemical properties, biocompatibility and calcium deposition can serve as plausible candidates for bone tissue engineering. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electrospun Nanofibers: Theory and Its Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Uniform Distribution and Densification of Jets in Needleless Electrospinning Using Annular Tip Nozzle
Polymers 2019, 11(8), 1301; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11081301 - 02 Aug 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Numerous jets can be generated simultaneously on a nozzle by needleless melt electrospinning technology which has the advantages of solvent-free residues and environmental friendliness; and potential industrial application prospects. In this paper, the linear annular tip nozzle was taken as the research object, [...] Read more.
Numerous jets can be generated simultaneously on a nozzle by needleless melt electrospinning technology which has the advantages of solvent-free residues and environmental friendliness; and potential industrial application prospects. In this paper, the linear annular tip nozzle was taken as the research object, and the high-speed image acquisition of the jets generation and distribution process of annular tip nozzle was carried out and compared with that of straight-line tip nozzle. The results showed that the repulsive force between the jets caused a slight adjustment in the position of the jets on the free surface, the force between the jets on the annular closed curve canceled each other and eventually reached the equilibrium state, making the position of the jets stable and the distance between the jets the same, and the distance between the jets was related to the intensity of the induced electric field at the tip of the nozzle. Relevant conclusions can provide scientific and practical guidance for the design of needleless electrospinning nozzles on free surface in order to achieve uniform and efficient preparation of ultrafine fibers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electrospun Nanofibers: Theory and Its Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
One-Step Synthesis of Silver Nanoparticles Embedded Polyurethane Nano-Fiber/Net Structured Membrane as an Effective Antibacterial Medium
Polymers 2019, 11(7), 1185; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11071185 - 15 Jul 2019
Cited by 6
Abstract
A new and straightforward route was proposed to incorporate silver nanoparticles (Ag NPs) into the surface of polyurethane nanofibers (PU NFs). Uniform distribution of in situ formed Ag NPs on the surface of PU NFs was achieved by adding AgNO3 and tannic [...] Read more.
A new and straightforward route was proposed to incorporate silver nanoparticles (Ag NPs) into the surface of polyurethane nanofibers (PU NFs). Uniform distribution of in situ formed Ag NPs on the surface of PU NFs was achieved by adding AgNO3 and tannic acid in a PU solution prior to the electrospinning process. The synthesized nanofiber mats were characterized with state-of-the-art techniques and antibacterial performances were tested against Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) and Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria. The cytocompatibility and cell behavior were studied by using fibroblast cells. Following this preparation route, Ag/PU NFs can be obtained with excellent antibacterial performance, thus making them appropriate for various applications such as water filtration, wound dressings, etc. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electrospun Nanofibers: Theory and Its Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Preparation of Zirconia Nanofibers by Electrospinning and Calcination with Zirconium Acetylacetonate as Precursor
Polymers 2019, 11(6), 1067; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11061067 - 20 Jun 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
For the first time, zirconia nanofibers with an average diameter of about 75 nm have been fabricated by calcination of electrospun zirconium acetylacetonate/polyacrylonitrile fibers in the range of 500–1100 °C. Composite and ceramic filaments have been characterized by scanning electron microscopy, thermogravimetric analysis, [...] Read more.
For the first time, zirconia nanofibers with an average diameter of about 75 nm have been fabricated by calcination of electrospun zirconium acetylacetonate/polyacrylonitrile fibers in the range of 500–1100 °C. Composite and ceramic filaments have been characterized by scanning electron microscopy, thermogravimetric analysis, nitrogen adsorption analysis, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, and X-ray diffractometry. The stages of the transition of zirconium acetylacetonate to zirconia have been revealed. It has been found out that a rise in calcination temperature from 500 to 1100 °C induces transformation of mesoporous tetragonal zirconia nanofibers with a high specific surface area (102.3 m2/g) to non-porous monoclinic zirconia nanofibers of almost the same diameter with a low value of specific surface area (8.3 m2/g). The tetragonal zirconia nanofibers with high specific surface area prepared at 500 °C can be considered, for instance, as promising supports for heterogeneous catalysts, enhancing their activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electrospun Nanofibers: Theory and Its Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Conductive Bicomponent Fibers Containing Polyaniline Produced via Side-by-Side Electrospinning
Polymers 2019, 11(6), 954; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11060954 - 01 Jun 2019
Cited by 11
Abstract
In this study, using a barbed Y-connector as the spinneret, camphoric acid (CSA) doped polyaniline (PANI) and polyethylene oxide (PEO) were electrospun into side-by-side bicomponent fibers. Fiber mats obtained from this side-by-side spinneret were compared with those mats electrospun from blended PEO and [...] Read more.
In this study, using a barbed Y-connector as the spinneret, camphoric acid (CSA) doped polyaniline (PANI) and polyethylene oxide (PEO) were electrospun into side-by-side bicomponent fibers. Fiber mats obtained from this side-by-side spinneret were compared with those mats electrospun from blended PEO and PANI in terms of fiber morphology, electrical conductivity, thermal stability, mechanical properties, and relative resistivity under tensile strain. The influence of different content ratio of insulating PEO (3/4/5 w/v% to solvent) and conductive PANI-CSA (1.5/2.5/3.5 w/v% to solvent) on the abovementioned properties was studied as well. Results showed that this side-by-side spinning was capable of overcoming the poor spinnability of PANI to produce fibers with PEO carrying PANI on the surface of the bicomponent fibers, which demonstrated higher electrical conductivity than blends. Although the addition of PANI deteriorated mechanical properties for both side-by-side and blended fibers when compared to the pure PEO fibers, the side-by-side fibers showed much better fiber strength and elongation than blends. In addition, the superior ductility and decent relative electrical resistivity of the side-by-side fibers imparted them great potential for flexible sensor applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electrospun Nanofibers: Theory and Its Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
TiO2 NPs Assembled into a Carbon Nanofiber Composite Electrode by a One-Step Electrospinning Process for Supercapacitor Applications
Polymers 2019, 11(5), 899; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11050899 - 17 May 2019
Cited by 13
Abstract
In this study, we have synthesized titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TiO2 NPs) into carbon nanofiber (NFs) composites by a simple electrospinning method followed by subsequent thermal treatment. The resulting composite was characterized by state-of-the-art techniques and exploited as the electrode material for supercapacitor [...] Read more.
In this study, we have synthesized titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TiO2 NPs) into carbon nanofiber (NFs) composites by a simple electrospinning method followed by subsequent thermal treatment. The resulting composite was characterized by state-of-the-art techniques and exploited as the electrode material for supercapacitor applications. The electrochemical behavior of the as-synthesized TiO2 NPs assembled into carbon nanofibers (TiO2-carbon NFs) was investigated and compared with pristine TiO2 NFs. The cyclic voltammetry and charge–discharge analysis of the composite revealed an enhancement in the performance of the composite compared to the bare TiO2 NFs. The as-obtained TiO2-carbon NF composite exhibited a specific capacitance of 106.57 F/g at a current density of 1 A/g and capacitance retention of about 84% after 2000 cycles. The results obtained from this study demonstrate that the prepared nanocomposite could be used as electrode material in a supercapacitor. Furthermore, this work provides an easy scale-up strategy to prepare highly efficient TiO2-carbon composite nanofibers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electrospun Nanofibers: Theory and Its Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Engineered Electrospun Polyurethane Composite Patch Combined with Bi-functional Components Rendering High Strength for Cardiac Tissue Engineering
Polymers 2019, 11(4), 705; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11040705 - 17 Apr 2019
Cited by 6
Abstract
Cardiovascular application of nanomaterial’s is of increasing demand and its usage is limited by its mechanical and blood compatible properties. In this work, an attempt is made to develop an electrospun novel nanocomposite loaded with basil oil and titanium dioxide (TiO2) [...] Read more.
Cardiovascular application of nanomaterial’s is of increasing demand and its usage is limited by its mechanical and blood compatible properties. In this work, an attempt is made to develop an electrospun novel nanocomposite loaded with basil oil and titanium dioxide (TiO2) particles. The composite material displayed increase in hydrophobic and reduced fiber diameter compared to the pristine polymer. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy results showed the interaction of the pristine polymer with the added substances. Thermal analysis showed the increased onset degradation, whereas the mechanical testing portrayed the increased tensile strength of the composites. Finally, the composite delayed the coagulation times and also rendered safe environment for red blood cells signifying its suitability to be used in contact with blood. Strikingly, the cellular toxicity of the developed composite was lower than the pristine polymer suggesting its compatible nature with the surrounding tissues. With these promising characteristics, developed material with enhanced physicochemical properties and blood compatibility can be successfully utilized for cardiac tissue applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electrospun Nanofibers: Theory and Its Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Electrospun Combination of Peppermint Oil and Copper Sulphate with Conducive Physico-Chemical properties for Wound Dressing Applications
Polymers 2019, 11(4), 586; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11040586 - 01 Apr 2019
Cited by 6
Abstract
The ultimate goal in tissue engineering is to fabricate a scaffold which could mimic the native tissue structure. In this work, the physicochemical and biocompatibility properties of electrospun composites based on polyurethane (PU) with added pepper mint (PM) oil and copper sulphate (CuSO [...] Read more.
The ultimate goal in tissue engineering is to fabricate a scaffold which could mimic the native tissue structure. In this work, the physicochemical and biocompatibility properties of electrospun composites based on polyurethane (PU) with added pepper mint (PM) oil and copper sulphate (CuSO4) were investigated. Field Emission Electron microscope (FESEM) study depicted the increase in mean fiber diameter for PU/PM and decrease in fiber diameter for PU/PM/CuSO4 compared to the pristine PU. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) analysis revealed the formation of a hydrogen bond for the fabricated composites as identified by an alteration in PU peak intensity. Contact angle analysis presented the hydrophobic nature of pristine PU and PU/PM while the PU/PM/CuSO4 showed hydrophilic behavior. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) analysis revealed the increase in the surface roughness for the PU/PM while PU/PM/CuSO4 showed a decrease in surface roughness compared to the pristine PU. Blood compatibility studies showed improved blood clotting time and less toxic behavior for the developed composites than the pristine PU. Finally, the cell viability of the fabricated composite was higher than the pristine PU as indicated in the MTS assay. Hence, the fabricated wound dressing composite based on PU with added PM and CuSO4 rendered a better physicochemical and biocompatible nature, making it suitable for wound healing applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electrospun Nanofibers: Theory and Its Applications)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
A Parallel Bicomponent TPU/PI Membrane with Mechanical Strength Enhanced Isotropic Interfaces Used as Polymer Electrolyte for Lithium-Ion Battery
Polymers 2019, 11(1), 185; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11010185 - 21 Jan 2019
Cited by 24
Abstract
In this work, a side-by-side bicomponent thermoplastic polyurethane/polyimide (TPU/PI) polymer electrolyte prepared with side-by-side electrospinning method is reported for the first time. Symmetrical TPU and PI co-occur on one fiber, and are connected by an interface transition layer formed by the interdiffusion of [...] Read more.
In this work, a side-by-side bicomponent thermoplastic polyurethane/polyimide (TPU/PI) polymer electrolyte prepared with side-by-side electrospinning method is reported for the first time. Symmetrical TPU and PI co-occur on one fiber, and are connected by an interface transition layer formed by the interdiffusion of two solutions. This structure of the as-prepared TPU/PI polymer electrolyte can integrate the advantages of high thermal stable PI and good mechanical strength TPU, and mechanical strength is further increased by those isotropic interface transition layers. Moreover, benefiting from micro-nano pores and the high porosity of the structure, TPU/PI polymer electrolyte presents high electrolyte uptake (665%) and excellent ionic conductivity (5.06 mS·cm−1) at room temperature. Compared with PE separator, TPU/PI polymer electrolyte exhibited better electrochemical stability, and using it as the electrolyte and separator, the assembled Li/LiMn2O4 cell exhibits low inner resistance, stable cyclic and notably high rate performance. Our study indicates that the TPU/PI membrane is a promising polymer electrolyte for high safety lithium-ion batteries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electrospun Nanofibers: Theory and Its Applications)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Emerging Developments in the Use of Electrospun Fibers and Membranes for Protective Clothing Applications
Polymers 2020, 12(2), 492; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12020492 - 24 Feb 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
There has been increased interest to develop protective fabrics and clothing for protecting the wearer from hazards such as chemical, biological, heat, UV, pollutants etc. Protective fabrics have been conventionally developed using a wide variety of techniques. However, these conventional protective fabrics lack [...] Read more.
There has been increased interest to develop protective fabrics and clothing for protecting the wearer from hazards such as chemical, biological, heat, UV, pollutants etc. Protective fabrics have been conventionally developed using a wide variety of techniques. However, these conventional protective fabrics lack breathability. For example, conventional protective fabrics offer good protection against water but have limited ability in removing the water vapor and moisture. Fibers and membranes fabricated using electrospinning have demonstrated tremendous potential to develop protective fabrics and clothing. These fabrics based on electrospun fibers and membranes have the potential to provide thermal comfort to the wearer and protect the wearer from wide variety of environmental hazards. This review highlights the emerging applications of electrospinning for developing such breathable and protective fabrics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electrospun Nanofibers: Theory and Its Applications)
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Open AccessReview
Electrospun CNF Supported Ceramics as Electrochemical Catalysts for Water Splitting and Fuel Cell: A Review
Polymers 2020, 12(1), 238; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12010238 - 19 Jan 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
With the per capita growth of energy demand, there is a significant need for alternative and sustainable energy resources. Efficient electrochemical catalysis will play an important role in sustaining that need, and nanomaterials will play a crucial role, owing to their high surface [...] Read more.
With the per capita growth of energy demand, there is a significant need for alternative and sustainable energy resources. Efficient electrochemical catalysis will play an important role in sustaining that need, and nanomaterials will play a crucial role, owing to their high surface area to volume ratio. Electrospun nanofiber is one of the most promising alternatives for producing such nanostructures. A section of key nano-electrocatalysts comprise of transition metals (TMs) and their derivatives, like oxides, sulfides, phosphides and carbides, etc., as well as their 1D composites with carbonaceous elements, like carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and carbon nanofiber (CNF), to utilize the fruits of TMs’ electronic structure, their inherent catalytic capability and the carbon counterparts’ stability, and electrical conductivity. In this work, we will discuss about such TM derivatives, mostly TM-based ceramics, grown on the CNF substrates via electrospinning. We will discuss about manufacturing methods, and their electrochemical catalysis performances in regards to energy conversion processes, dealing mostly with water splitting, the metal–air battery fuel cell, etc. This review will help to understand the recent evolution, challenges and future scopes related to electrospun transition metal derivative-based CNFs as electrocatalysts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electrospun Nanofibers: Theory and Its Applications)
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