General Background

The process of electrospinning takes place between a spinning head with a capillary opening, where a high voltage is applied and a rotating drum or static plate acting as a grounded nanofibre collecting counter electrode. The spinning head (nozzle or nozzle-less) is connected with and usually pressure fed from a reservoir of polymer solution.

The high voltage difference between the spinning head and the ground results in a nano- to micron-sized fibre jet which is drawn out of the Taylor cone formed at the opening of the spinning head. The solvent rapidly evaporates during this process and, under optimum conditions a continuous thread of nanofibres is deposited at the ground electrode. Depending upon the collector system, the electrospun nanofibres are deposited either in a random fashion in the form of a nonwoven web or as organized (e.g. parallelized) nanofibre patches.
Electrospun nanofibres are unique with respect to their high surface to volume ratio, high fibre interconnectivity and nano-scale interstitial spaces and are therefore of considerable interest in applications where highly porous structures or structures with a high surface area are desirable (e.g. biomedicine, composite materials). Examples of biomedical applications include biomimetic scaffolds for tissue engineering, sustained/controlled drug release systems, regenerative medicine, wound dressings, implants, artificial skin and biosensors. Other emerging applications of electrospun nanofibres are in the field of textiles, as filters for air and liquids and personal respiratory systems for protection from biological and chemical agents. Electrospun nanofibres are also good candidates for the development of advanced sensors (e.g. ultra-sensitive gas sensors, electronic noses, halo-chromic sensors, flexible reversible low-cost pH-sensors, bio sensors, bio molecular microchip arrays). Electrospun nanofibres can also play an important role in the food area, which could include separation operations, enzyme immobilization, encapsulation of food bioactive compounds and microorganisms, fabrication of sensor devices, and in active an sensor devices, and in active and intelligent food packaging applications. Other emerging uses have been proposed for energy applications (e.g. batteries, fuel cells, photovoltaic devices) and for various other electronics and optoelectronics uses. The electrospinning topic is therefore very important and timely and presents numerous opportunities to contribute towards solving pressing global challenges relating to human health, water quality, food safety, the environment and energy issues.







COST MP1206 Final Event and MC meeting, University of Cyprus, Nicosia-Cyprus, 19-21 April 2017
COST MP1206 final SG meeting will take place on Monday 6 March 2017, in Ajaccio France
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