The interest in electrospinning has increased rapidly over the past decade. At first mainly from a scientific perspective, but nowadays there is also a strong industrial interest in electrospinning applications, because of the unique characteristics of these ultra-thin fibers, their nanoscale surface area and relatively defect-free molecular structure. These properties open the way towards applications like Tissue Engineering, Medical Devices and Drug Delivery.
Electrospinning is a relative simple process for making very thin fibers. In principle a syringe pump attached to a small nozzle, a conductive collector, and a high voltage power source in between is enough to turn a liquefied polymer into a nanofiber. The unique features associated with electrospun nanofibers make them attractive for a variety of products and applications in different fields.
Despite the simplicity of the process at first glance, the physics involved is actually rather complex. There are numerous material parameters and processing conditions that affect the electrospinning result. Optimizing all these parameters for a specific application requires in-depth knowledge of – and practical experience with – the electrospinning process. Furthermore, the electrospinning equipment used should provide optimal control over the relevant parameters while keeping interference with the process to a minimum.
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