Although nanofibres are thousands of times finer than a human hair, with current technology scientists can produce fibres of this size where the inside is made with a different material from the outer coating.
This success has mainly been limited to laboratory, as the switch to full-scale production has proved to be a very difficult technical problem.
Contipro’s scientists have now managed to overcome the obstacles hampering the industrial production of coaxial nanofibres.
To increase the production of coaxial fibres, they have developed a jet, the patent for which has been published this month.
The invention’s European creators expect this to result in particular in the possibility of transferring the preparation of coaxial fibres from the laboratory to genuinely industrial-scale production. The advantage of the jet, besides the amount it can produce, is that it is easy to clean and maintain.
Coaxial fibres can potentially be used for a number of interesting applications. The fibre coating, for example, can be made from quickly soluble material which releases a large amount of substance from the huge surface of nanofibres in a short time.
Conversely, the middle of a fibre can retain its mechanical properties and release only small quantities of substance over an extended period. The correct timing can be controlled for all of these processes. A particular application could be for the decoupling materials used in operations of the abdominal cavity.
Over the space of a few days, a substance is released from the fibre coating that prevents inflammation. Then, after two weeks of healing, the fibre core releases an agent promoting tissue regeneration. After two weeks, the material, having prevented unwanted accretions and accelerated the healing process, is completely dissolved.
A device 4SPIN introduced by the same group of developers in Japan at the start of the year is to focus on these new applications. This device, approximately a metre in height, facilitates laboratory research and the development of nano-materials for tissue engineering and other fields unrelated to medicine. According to its creators, the device’s main advantage is its emphasis on processing difficult-to-spin polymers and the possibility of almost perfectly aligning nanofibres.
Contipro Biotech is an innovative company from the Czech Republic primarily focusing on bio and nanotechnology. Its laboratory apparatus 4SPIN is able to process a wide range of natural and synthetic polymers with highly repeatable results.
Due to its modular character and friendly user interface, many crucial properties such as fiber alignment, diameter or fiber density can be easily controlled and optimized. Contipro can offer scientific support for processing of biopolymers, as well as the materials used for nanoapplications in medicine. There are more than 90 researchers employed in company's R&D laboratories and research is backed by twenty years of experience. Contipro is a world leading company in hyaluronan chemistry.