Materials, Electro-Mechanical and Biomedical Devices Based on Nanofibers

July 20, 2020 — July 24, 2020


  • Tomasz A. Kowalewski (IPPT-PAN, Warsaw, Poland)
  • Alexander Yarin (University of Illinois at Chicago, USA)

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Recently, there has been a strong interest in the development of new micro- and nanomaterials, in particular, nanofibers (NFs), for biomedical applications. The aim of this course is to provide state-of-the-art information on the development of nanofiber-based materials and devices for advanced biomedical purposes. With this objective, the course aims at covering the design of fibrous nanomaterials at the forefront of biomedical sciences reviewing the most important areas from fiber fabrication modeling to their final application.
Core-shell fibers with healing agents are key element for self-healing vascular composite materials used to sustain mechanical properties and for corrosion protection. Sustainable NF-based triboelectric nanogenerators comprised of biopolymers will also be discussed. Soft thermo-pneumatic artificial muscles and actuators with the embedded NFs impregnated with ethanol and blister-like thermo-pneumatic soft actuators, which deflect in response to heat supplied to their bottom are an important step toward NF-based soft robotics. Metallized NFs are electrically conductive and highly transparent materials, which hold great promise as three-dimensional heaters, sensors, and treatment of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage.
Optical, electronic, and photonic properties of NFs can also be highly important for electro-mechanical and biomedical devices. Based on a variety of functional compounds such as conjugated polymers, organic light-emitting molecules, dyes, piezo-polymers, etc., NFs can be used as building blocks of miniaturized dielectric waveguides, optical amplifiers, solid-state lasers, active fiber optics, and surface-coating elements of great relevance for lab-on-chip architectures, electro-mechanical devices, wearable and implantable technologies.
Electrostatic interactions between polyelectrolytes and increased entropy resulting from counter-ion release are the main driving forces for polyelectrolyte complexation. We discuss formation of NFs from polyelectrolyte complexes as a function of polymer molecular weight and concentration, and solution ionic strength and pH. The applications of polyelectrolyte complex fibers for actuation and drug release will be discussed. We will show several approaches of modeling hydrodynamic transport of nanofibrous suspensions and experimental methods used for evaluating their interactions in micro and nanoscale environment. We will also discuss properties of materials for cancer treatment developed over the past few decades.
NFs are used for developing new composite materials. They have proven to be one of the most effective ways to improve toughness of matrix polymer and the delamination resistance of structural composites. It is hence important to understand the mechanics of NFs and their related materials.
This course is directed towards senior year undergraduate students, graduate students, researchers, engineers and practitioners in industry. It will be of special importance for those interested to develop novel devices and models based on nanofibers from the in-depth and comprehensive exposition of physical foundations of such devices and related phenomena.


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