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

Farewell Jack! June 16th, 2017

The DBG would like to wish Jack Zhou all the best as he leaves us for his next adventure – Medical School. Congratulations Jack!

The DBG welcomes the Orientation and Reach-Back Training class of the U.S. Army May 22nd, 2017

The DBG had the pleasure of hosting the Orientation and Reach-Back Training (ORBT) training class of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM) Field Assistance in Science and Technology (FAST) program on May 17, 2017. ORBT is a multi-week mission overview program for senior-level Army officers, non-commissioned officers and Department of the Army civilians on the mechanisms for identifying and resolving technology capability gaps for units in their area of operation. The class visit to Professor (Lieutenant Colonel, Reserves) Parker’s Lab is their only visit to a Lab outside the Department of Defense.

The class met with DBG veterans and attended presentations on Stronger, Tougher, and Lighter Soldier Protection Systems; Nanofiber Scaffolds for Wound Healing/Dressings; Traumatic Brain Injury – Understanding Disease Mechanisms; Fibrous Scaffolds for Tissue Engineered Foods; Cells as Engineering Materials – the Cyborg Ray Project; Cuttlefish Inspired Camouflage; and our unique program for embedding Artists-In- Residence in the Lab.

Guests included members from the U.S. Army Research, Development, and Engineering Command (RDECOM); U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC); U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Army Research Laboratory; and RDECOM Research, Development and Engineering Centers.

Pictured below are (clockwise from bottom left): DBG Artist-in- Residence Karaghen Hudson (Harvard Class of 2018); Ms. Valerie Carney (ERDC); Dr. Aimee Poda (ERDC); Dr. (Colonel, Reserves) Steve Hart (RDECOM); Veteran and Program Coordinator John Laursen (Army Retired); Dr. Jerry Ballard (ERDC); Mr. Nathan Frantz (US Army Corps of Engineers); Visiting Scholar and Brigadier General Michael D. Phillips (USA Retired); Dr. Samantha Chambers RDECOM Science Advisor to the XVIII Airborne Corps; and Lieutenant Colonel Jovanna Nelson.

Congratulations to Stephanie Dauth, Ben Maoz, & Sean Sheehy on the cover of the Journal of Neurophysiology May 11th, 2017

Congratulations to our Brain Team for getting the cover of this month’s Journal of Neurophysiology “Neurons derived from different brain regions are inherently different in vitro: A novel multiregional brain-on-a-chip

Close-up image of axons that
have been grown over a 1-mm gap on a microcontact printed PLL/laminin lines connecting the different brain regions

Robotic Stingray wins Gold Medal at Edison Awards! April 25th, 2017

Congratulations to Professor Kit Parker and Sung-Jin Park, Ph.D. who received a gold medal in the engineering category at the Edison Awards for their work on the cyborg stingray.  The Edison Awards honor excellence in new product and service development, marketing, human-centered design and innovation.

 

Photo courtesy of Michael Rosnach

 

Welcome Dr. Cera and Dr. Lee! April 3rd, 2017

The DBG would like to extend a warm welcome to our new postdoctoral fellows, Luca Cera & Keel Yong Lee. Luca comes to us from Berlin, German, where he recently completed his Ph.D. in Chemistry under the guidance of Prof. Dr. Christoph A. Schalley. Keel Yong recently completed his Ph.D. in Prof. Kwanwoo Shin’s lab at Sogang University in Seoul, South Korea. We are looking forward to expanding on our past collaborations with him.