Putting Electrospun Nanofibers to Work for Biomedical Research

Department of Biomedical Engineering, Washington University in St. Louis, Saint Louis, Missouri 63130, USA.
Macromolecular Rapid Communications (Impact Factor: 4.94). 11/2008; 29(22):1775-1792. DOI: 10.1002/marc.200800381
Source: PubMed


Electrospinning has been exploited for almost one century to process polymers and related materials into nanofibers with controllable compositions, diameters, porosities, and porous structures for a variety of applications. Owing to its high porosity and large surface area, a non-woven mat of electrospun nanofibers can serve as an ideal scaffold to mimic the extracellular matrix for cell attachment and nutrient transportation. The nanofiber itself can also be functionalized through encapsulation or attachment of bioactive species such as extracellular matrix proteins, enzymes, and growth factors. In addition, the nanofibers can be further assembled into a variety of arrays or architectures by manipulating their alignment, stacking, or folding. All these attributes make electrospinning a powerful tool for generating nanostructured materials for a range of biomedical applications that include controlled release, drug delivery, and tissue engineering.

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Available from: Jingwei Xie, May 07, 2014
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    • "Recently, micro/nanofiber-based scaffolds produced via the electrospinning technique are gaining increasing interest since it uses an uncomplicated experimental procedure which allows for precise manipulation of fiber composition, as well as control of fiber mesh porosity. Structurewise, electrospun fiber scaffolds bear a strong resemblance to the hierarchical structure of the extracellular matrix (ECM), an environment critical for cell survival, differentiation, signal transduction and nutrient/waste transport [1] [2]. Furthermore, electrospun fibers can be modified using different physical or chemical methods to encapsulate or attach bioactive molecules such as native ECM proteins or RGD peptides to support and guide both the survival and differentiation of cells seeded on the scaffold. "

    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Biomedical Materials
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    • "In recent years, numerous studies have focused on the development and characterization of fibers produced using the electrospinning process, and publications have included general reviews [1] [2] [3] [4] [5], reports of improvements to the electrospinning technique [6] [7], and studies of the properties of the electrospun fibers [8] [9] [10]. Other studies have focused on the innovative use of polymer nanofibers for a variety of applications in medicine, biotechnology, and engineering [11] [12] [13] because of their large surface area to volume ratio and unique nanometerscale architecture. Recently, polymer nanofibers produced by electrospinning were studied as materials for applications that varied from advanced photonics to biological applications. "
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    ABSTRACT: Dye-doped polymer micro- and nanofibers with tailored light emission properties have great potential for applications in optical, optoelectronic, or photonic devices. In this study, these types of structures were obtained by electrospinning rhodamine 6 G-doped polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) using a polymer solution of 10% (mass) concentration in ethanol. Polymer nanofibers with different morphologies (smooth and beaded) and diameters of about 500 nm were obtained using different electrospinning conditions with the same solutions. Fluorescence optical microscopy observations showed that the dye was distributed uniformly in the doped PVP nanofibers. Different shifts were observed when we compared the wavelength of the dye emission band peak of the smooth nanofibers (566 nm) and the wavelength of the dye emission band peak of the beaded fibers (561.5 nm) produced by electrospinning in different conditions with the wavelength of the emission band peak for transparent thin films produced by spin coating (558 nm) using the same polymer solution. This demonstrates that it is possible to tune the optical properties of electrospun dye-doped polymer nanofibers simply by modifying the morphology of the material, i.e., the parameters of the electrospinning process.
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    • "Since the 1930s, electrospinning (ELSP) has been applied to generate diverse nanofibrous textiles for various applications such as filters, skin masks, semipermeable membrane, clothing, and medical materials (Burger, Hsiao, & Chu, 2006; Greiner & Wendorff, 2007). Recently, nanofibers have been applied towards medical uses such as drug delivery systems, tissue engineering scaffolds, vascular grafts, biological wound dressings, and support for the human body (Pham, Sharma, & Mikos, 2006; Xie, Li, & Xia, 2008; Yoshimoto, Shin, Terai, & Vacanti, 2003). These nanofibers have found a wide array of uses due to their high surface area resulting from the nano-to-micro sized fibers and high porosity. "
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    ABSTRACT: The ideal wound dressing would have properties that allow for absorption of exudates, and inhibition of microorganism for wound protection. In this study, we utilized an electrospinning (ELSP) technique to design a novel wound dressing. Chitosan (CTS) nanofibers containing various ratios of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) were obtained. AgNPs were generated directly in the CTS solution by using a chemical reduction method. The formation and presence of AgNPs in the CTS/AgNPs composite was confirmed by x-ray diffraction (XRD), ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy (UV) and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). The electrospun CTS/AgNPs nanofibers were characterized morphologically by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). These nanofibers were subsequently tested to evaluate their antibacterial activity against gram-negative Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa) and gram-positive Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Results of this antibacterial testing suggest that CTS/AgNPs nanofibers may be effective in topical antibacterial treatment in wound care.
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