Tomasz Ciach PhD Eng. Professor
Beata Butruk-Raszeja PhD Eng.
Magdalena Janczewska MSc Eng.
Katarzyna Każmierska MSc Eng.
Kamil Kopeć MSc Eng.
Piotr Kowalczyk MSc Eng.
Martyna Kucharska PhD Eng.
Aleksandra Kuźmińska, MSc Eng.
Aleksandra Kulikowska MSc Eng.
Ilona Łojszczyk MSc Eng.
Aleksandra Mościcka-Studzińska MSc Eng.
Rafał Podgórski MSc Eng.
Aleksandra Poniatowska MSc Eng.
Agata Stefanek MSc Eng.
Paulina Trzaskowska MSc Eng.
Maciej Trzaskowski MSc Eng.

Iga Wasiak MSc Eng.

Michał Wojasiński MSc Eng.


Home arrow Projects arrow Tissue engineering arrow Nanofibers - electrospinning, airblowing
Nanofibers - electrospinning, airblowing

In our laboratory we we create polimeric nanofibrous nonwoven materials composed of fibers with diamteres from about a few nanometers (nanofibers) to one milimeter (submicron fibers). We prepare fibers from various polymers, like construction polimers: polyamides, polystyren, polyvinylalcohol, acrylates; biodegradable polymers: poly-L-lactide, polycaprolactone; and natural polymers: dextran, celluloze derivatives, albumin, collagen and chitosan. Practically every polymer can be used to prepare fibers using our methods. In order to prepare nanofibers we apply two the most recent techniques, electrospinning and solution blow spinning.

Optical microscope images of submicron fibers

Electrospinning is a process of polymer fibre production when liquid polymer (melt or solution) is elongated into the form of fine fibres under the influence of strong electrostatic field. Obtained fibres are from single nanometers to one millimetre in diameter. Product of the electrostatic atomization of polymers and polymer solutions depend on the nature of polymer, interaction between the polymers chains, solution concentration and solvents applied, and on voltage and system geometry. For example polyethylene glycol of 300 kDa molecular weight atomized as water solution gives particles for concentrations up to 5%, 5-7% we obtain "beads on the string", it is clearly the jet breakup process frozen by water evaporation, and for higher concentration we obtain smooth fibers. For 900 kDa "beads on the string" appear in the range 1-2.5% concentration. For higher molecular weights we produce nice smooth fibers only.

Schematic drawing of the spinning apparatus is shown in the figure above. Nozzle is supplied with a polymer solution and connected to the high voltage (5-20kV). Under the nozzle a stabilizing ring is placed, the ring is connected to voltage few kV lower then a nozzle and its use is not always necessary. Application of concentric nozzle results in the production of nanotubes or core-shell fibres.

More informations in paper (PDF):

Solution blow spinning is a novel technique of nanofibers preparation. Using solution blow spinning we can process all materials mentioned in electrospinning, but the driving force of the process is supplied by high speed air jet flowing around the polymer solution. Due to application of specially designed concentric nozzles system, we can obtained polymer nanofibers with yield about 10 times higher than in electrospinning. In solution blow spinning we can control fibers properties in the similar range like in electrospinning. It is also applicable in case of the fiber dimensions.

Schematically, the solution blow spinning setup is presented in figure above. The key element of the aparatus for the air blowing process is the concentric nozzles system. Additionally, thanks to application of rotating with high speed collecting drum we can control fibers alignment within the resulting material.

Scanning electron microscope images of air blown nanofibers



More informations in paper (PDF):

Obtained fibres can be applied in aerosol filtration, tissue engineering, biodegradable implants, bone scaffolds, drug delivery, internal bandages. Nanofibers obtained by both means can also be applied in DNA delivery in gene therapy.
Electrospinning and solution blow spinning are also a real competition for spiders living in the lab.

Examples of cells cultured on the surface of nanofibrous materials



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