Special Issue "Functional Electrospun Nanofibers"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 October 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Seongpil An
Website
Guest Editor
SKKU Advanced Institute of Nanotechnology (SAINT) & Department of Nano Engineering, Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU), Suwon 16419, Republic of Korea
Interests: artificial/natural polymers, electrospinning; solution blowing; polymer/carbon/metal/ceramic fibers; transparent conducting film; vascular self-healing system; soft actuator; triboelectric/piezoelectric nanogenerator; cooling film; water/air purification membranes
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Micro and nanoscale fiber technologies have changed the practices in various engineering fields. These technologies have merged with advanced materials to enable engineering constructs, which improve the mechanical, thermal, electrical, and physicochemical features of resulting materials. Hitherto, various fiber forming technologies have enabled engineers and scientists to move to the next stage in their achievement with accompanying numerous theoretical and experimental studies on developed fibers. In particular, one of these fiber-forming techniques, the electrospinning method, has emerged as a promising platform in multidisciplinary engineering over the past few decades. This facile and cost-effective approach has overcome major challenges and has achieved remarkable breakthroughs in energy, environmental, and biomedical applications. Furthermore, a compatibility of the electrospinning method with other processes and materials has enabled this method to be continuously explored in both academy and industry to develop next-generation products.

This Special Issue aims to provide and highlight current research progresses on functional electrospun nanofibers for energy, environmental, and biomedical applications, which will be of great value for those who are exploring advanced materials to reach a new pinnacle of technology.

Dr. Seongpil An
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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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. Polymers 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 1800 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
  • electrospun polymer fibers
  • electrospun fibers for energy, environmental, and biomedical applications
  • functional materials via electrospinning method
  • advanced electrospinning process

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Manuka Honey Reduces NETosis on an Electrospun Template Within a Therapeutic Window
Polymers 2020, 12(6), 1430; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12061430 - 26 Jun 2020
Abstract
Manuka honey, a topical wound treatment used to eradicate bacteria, resolve inflammation, and promote wound healing, is a focus in the tissue engineering community as a tissue template additive. However, its effect on neutrophil extracellular trap formation (NETosis) on a tissue engineering template [...] Read more.
Manuka honey, a topical wound treatment used to eradicate bacteria, resolve inflammation, and promote wound healing, is a focus in the tissue engineering community as a tissue template additive. However, its effect on neutrophil extracellular trap formation (NETosis) on a tissue engineering template has yet to be examined. As NETosis has been implicated in chronic inflammation and fibrosis, the reduction in this response within the wound environment is of interest. In this study, Manuka honey was incorporated into electrospun templates with large (1.7–2.2 µm) and small (0.25–0.5 µm) diameter fibers at concentrations of 0.1%, 1%, and 10%. Template pore sizes and honey release profiles were quantified, and the effect on the NETosis response of seeded human neutrophils was examined through fluorescence imaging and myeloperoxidase (MPO) analysis. The incorporation of 0.1% and 1% Manuka honey decreased NETosis on the template surface at both 3 and 6 h, while 10% honey exacerbated the NETosis response. Additionally, 0.1% and 1% Manuka honey reduced the MMP-9 release of the neutrophils at both timepoints. These data indicate a therapeutic window for Manuka honey incorporation into tissue engineering templates for the reduction in NETosis. Future in vivo experimentation should be conducted to translate these results to a physiological wound environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Electrospun Nanofibers)
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Open AccessArticle
Anti-Escherichia coli Functionalized Silver-Doped Carbon Nanofibers for Capture of E. coli in Microfluidic Systems
Polymers 2020, 12(5), 1117; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12051117 - 13 May 2020
Abstract
Silver-doped carbon nanofibers (SDCNF) are used as the base material for the selective capture of Escherichia coli in microfluidic systems. Fibers were spun in a glovebox with dry atmosphere maintained by forced dry air pumped through the closed environment. This affected the evaporation [...] Read more.
Silver-doped carbon nanofibers (SDCNF) are used as the base material for the selective capture of Escherichia coli in microfluidic systems. Fibers were spun in a glovebox with dry atmosphere maintained by forced dry air pumped through the closed environment. This affected the evaporation rate of the solvent during the electrospinning process and the distribution of silver particles within the fiber. Antibodies are immobilized on the surface of the silver-doped polyacrylonitrile (PAN) based carbon nanofibers via a three-step process. The negatively charged silver particles present on the surface of the nanofibers provide suitable sites for positively charged biotinylated poly-(L)-lysine-graft-poly-ethylene-glycol (PLL-g-PEG biotin) conjugate attachment. Streptavidin and a biotinylated anti-E. coli antibody were then added to create anti-E. coli surface functionalized (AESF) nanofibers. Functionalized fibers were able to immobilize up to 130 times the amount of E. coli on the fiber surface compared to neat silver doped fibers. Confocal images show E. coli remains immobilized on fiber mat surface after extensive rinsing showing the bacteria is not simply a result of non-specific binding. To demonstrate selectivity and functionalization with both gram negative and gram-positive antibodies, anti-Staphylococcus aureus surface functionalized (ASSF) nanofibers were also prepared. Experiments with AESF performed with Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) and ASSF with E. coli show negligible binding to the fiber surface showing the selectivity of the functionalized membranes. This surface functionalization can be done with a variety of antibodies for tunable selective pathogen capture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Electrospun Nanofibers)
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Open AccessArticle
Thermochromic Fibers via Electrospinning
Polymers 2020, 12(4), 842; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12040842 - 06 Apr 2020
Abstract
Cholesteryl ester liquid crystals exhibit thermochromic properties related to the existence of a twisted nematic phase. We formulate ternary mixtures of cholesteryl benzoate (CB), cholesteryl pelargonate (CP), and cholesteryl oleyl carbonate (COC) to achieve thermochromic behavior. We aim to achieve thermochromic fibers by [...] Read more.
Cholesteryl ester liquid crystals exhibit thermochromic properties related to the existence of a twisted nematic phase. We formulate ternary mixtures of cholesteryl benzoate (CB), cholesteryl pelargonate (CP), and cholesteryl oleyl carbonate (COC) to achieve thermochromic behavior. We aim to achieve thermochromic fibers by incorporating the liquid crystal formulations into electrospun fibers. Two methods of incorporating the liquid crystal (LC) are compared: (1) blend electrospinning and (2) coaxial electrospinning using the same solvent system for the liquid crystal. For blend electrospinning, intermolecular interactions seem to be important in facilitating fiber formation since addition of LC can suppress bead formation. Coaxial electrospinning produces fibers with higher nominal fiber production rates (g/hr) and with higher nominal LC content in the fiber (wt. LC/wt. polymer assuming all of the solvent evaporates) but larger fiber size distributions as quantified by the coefficient of variation in fiber diameter than blend electrospinning with a single nozzle. Importantly, our proof-of-concept experiments demonstrate that coaxially electrospinning with LC and solvent in the core preserves the thermochromic properties of the LC so that thermochromic fibers are achieved. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Electrospun Nanofibers)
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Open AccessArticle
Multiple-Jet Needleless Electrospinning Approach via a Linear Flume Spinneret
Polymers 2019, 11(12), 2052; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11122052 - 11 Dec 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
There is a great limitation to improving the quality and productivity of nanofibers through the conventional single-needle method. Using needleless electrospinning technology to generate multiple jets and enhance the productivity of nanofibers has attracted lots of interest for many years. This study develops [...] Read more.
There is a great limitation to improving the quality and productivity of nanofibers through the conventional single-needle method. Using needleless electrospinning technology to generate multiple jets and enhance the productivity of nanofibers has attracted lots of interest for many years. This study develops a novel linear flume spinneret to fabricate nanofibers. Multiple jets with two rows can be formed simultaneously on the surface of the spinneret. The solution concentration has a significant impact on the average nanofiber diameter compared with applied voltage and collection distance. The effects of different spinning process parameters on the productivity of nanofibers are investigated. High-quality nanofibers with small nanofiber diameter and error can be fabricated successfully. The average nanofiber diameter is 108 ± 26 nm. The average error is 24%. The productivity of nanofibers can reach 4.85 ± 0.36 g/h, which is about 24 times more than that of the single-needle method. This novel linear flume spinneret needleless electrospinning technology exhibits huge potential for mass production of nanofibers in the field of industrialization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Electrospun Nanofibers)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Functional Micro- and Nanofibers Obtained by Nonwoven Post-Modification
Polymers 2020, 12(5), 1087; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12051087 - 10 May 2020
Abstract
Micro- and nanofibers are historically-known materials that are continuously reinvented due to their valuable properties. They display promise for applications in many fields, from tissue engineering to catalysis or sensors. In the first application, micro- and nanofibers are mainly produced from a limited [...] Read more.
Micro- and nanofibers are historically-known materials that are continuously reinvented due to their valuable properties. They display promise for applications in many fields, from tissue engineering to catalysis or sensors. In the first application, micro- and nanofibers are mainly produced from a limited library of biomaterials with properties that need alteration before use. Post-modification is a very effective method for attaining on-demand features and functions of nonwovens. This review summarizes and presents methods of functionalization of nonwovens produced by electrostatic means. The reviewed modifications are grouped into physical methods, chemical modification, and mixed methods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Electrospun Nanofibers)
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