Bio-Inspired Nanotextiles

Overview


A new technique of nanofiber fabrication using the rotary jet spinning for regenerative medicine and other industrial applications

Primary Investigator: Mohammad R. Badrossamay, Ph.D

We have developed an effective technique for the generation of continuous fibers and non-woven fabrics with nanometer size fiber diameters by using high-speed mechanical rotation of polymeric solutions through a perforated rotary reservoir. Termed, Rotary jet-spinning (RJS), has several advantages in comparison with other nanofiber fabrication methods: (a) the technique does not require high-voltage electric fields, (b) the apparatus is simple to implement, (c) nanofiber structures can be fabricated into an aligned 3D structure or any arbitrary shape by varying the collector geometry, (d) fiber morphology (beaded, textured, or smooth), fiber diameters, and web porosity can be manipulated by altering the process variables, (e) fiber fabrication is independent of solution conductivity, (f) RJS is easily applicable to polymer emulsions and suspensions, and (g) RJS is capable of substantially higher production rates as compared to standard electrospinning.

RJS-system-MBadrossamay.jpg

FIGURE: Schematic of rotary jet-spinning (RJS) system
A: Rotary jet spinning is capable of forming 3D structures with any arbitrary shape.
B: Scanning electron micrographs of smooth nanofibers (C), decorated (D) and textured (E).


A mathematical model of rotary jet spinning to predict fiber diameter under different processing conditions

Primary Investigator: Holly McIlwee

Currently we are studying the formation of nanofibers being produced in our lab via Rotary Jet Spinning from a physical point of view. Using the tools of fluidynamics, we have computed scaling laws that permit us to decrease the diameter and at the same time ensure the continuity of nanofibers, in terms of a few set of tunable laboratory parameters. These scaling laws can be easily translated into phase diagrams for obtaining fibers of desirable characteristics, when design and solution parameters fall into a well defined range.

McIlwee_Fiber_Formation.jpg McIlwee_DBG_Nanofiber_Formation.gif

FIGURE: Three stages of fiber formation in Rotary Jet-Spinning.
A: Jet initiation
B: Jet elongation
C: Solvent evaporation
D: Movie shows nanofiber formation by Rotary Jet-Spinning (RJS) captured by high speed camera


Manufacturing protein nanoFabrics using extracellular matrix proteins for applications ranging from biophotonic devices to neuronal tissue engineering

Primary Investigator: Leila Deravi, Ph.D

We have developed a technique for manufacturing bio-inspired nanoFabrics using the model protein Fibronectin (FN). FN nanoFabrics are synthesized using micro-contact printing onto thermosensitive, polymer substrates. At low temperatures (T< 32ºC), the polymer substrate dissolves, and our pre-patterned protein pops off the substrate as free-standing fibrillar networks, or nanoFabrics. When relaxed FN nanoFabrics are mechanically strained, they exhibit a 6-fold extension without failure, likely due to protein extension under strain. By identifying how mechanical strain affects protein conformation within fabrics, we can begin to design a new range of hyper-elastic textiles with similar chemical properties.

FN-nanoFabrics-LDeravi.jpg
FIGURE: Manufacturing FN nanoFabrics.
A: We built FN networks in the form of nanometer thick fabrics by releasing micropatterned FN from a thermosensitive substrate. Scale bar 20 µm.
B: Atomic force micrograph of FN nanoFabrics after release demonstrates nanoscale thickness.
C: Scanning electron micrograph of FN nanoFabrics after release demonstrates millimeter scale dimensions. Scale bar 50 µm.
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What's New

2019 MRS Conference Award Winners December 10th, 2019

Congratulations to Dr. Luke MacQueen and Dr. John Zimmerman for the Best Poster and Best Poster Nominee awards at the 2019 MRS in Boston!

Luke MacQueen
John Zimmerman

DBG Alumni Awarded ERC Starting Grant November 12th, 2019

Congratulations to DBG alumni Francesco Pasqualini (University of Pavia, Italy) and Ben Maoz (Tel Aviv University, Israel), and longtime associate Maximilian Emmert (Universität Zürich, Switzerland), for being awarded the prestigious ERC Starting Grant this year!

Farewell Seungkuk! September 5th, 2019

Congratulations to Dr. Seungkuk Ahn, who has accepted a position as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Biophysics Group in ETH Zürich with Professor Daniel J. Müller. Seungkuk joined the Disease Biophysics Group as a graduate student in 2012, and departed for Switzerland this past month. Congratulations Seungkuk!

Thank you to our 2019 summer students! September 5th, 2019

Thank you to the undergraduate students who visited our lab this summer. We wish you all the best in your future endeavors!
 

Riley Flores
Rudy Gabardi
James Ikeda
Christina Pizza
Danielle Gamboa
Carlos Marquez

Welcome 2019 Summer Students! June 17th, 2019

The Disease Biophysics Group welcomes our 2019 summer students! From left to right: Rudy Gabardi, Carlos Marquez, James Ikeda, Christina Pizza, Danielle Gamboa, and Riley Flores. Best of luck on your summer research projects!