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Electrospinning & Electrospraying Highlights at NANOTEC 2016

There was definitely something different in NANOTEC 2016, further to the relevance of the electrospinning technology: it was asked the speakers to focus their presentations in problem solving and the benefits provided to the corresponding applications from a very practical point of view, rather than making a more academic approach.

And for sure it was a wise decision of the Organizing Committee, since no few industrial companies attended the event.

There were many interesting topics, we are just going to show some highlights related to electrospinning & electrospraying technologies for different fields and applications which were discussed at NANOTEC:

Dr. Jed Johnson, from the industrial company NFS (USA), talked about Enabling Regenerative Medicine. They are strongly involved with electrospinning. NFS develops and markets nanofiber scaffolds for cell culture and drug development applications using standard-sized multiwell plates, in addition to nanofiber scaffolds for medical devices that are used as artificial organs and to enable regenerative medicine.  They believe that by combining the advantages of 2-D and 3-D cell culture with a nanofiber scaffold that not only mimics the extracellular matrix found in vivo but has successfully been implanted into humans, is future of cell culture products.  Their nanofiber scaffolds use synthetic polymers rather than animal derived products to increase reproducibility, facilitate clinical and in vivo applications, and provide for live cell imaging.  They can also align the nanofibers to mimic specific human environments (i.e. brain or cardiac tissue) allowing cells to align and orient as they do in vivo which facilitates a more predictive in vitro screen for toxicity, drug screening and cell based assays for more effective cancer and stem cell research. They are using at NFS a Fluidnatek LE-500 electrospinning machine from Bioinicia to produce their materials.

Bioinicia from its side, apart from being official sponsor of the event, also participated in the talks. Dr. Lars Markwort presented Applications of Electrospinning and Electrospraying for Biological Applications, whereas Celia Librán presented Encapsulation of Probiotics by Electrospraying in Functional Foods. Lars Markwort presented the advantages of electrospinning and electrospraying for the manufacturing of encapsulated omega-3 and the production of a biomedical device -a patch with controlled drug release for wound healing-, both projects carried out by Bioinicia, as showcased examples of electrospinning at industrial scale. Celia Librán, member of the R&D team at Bioinicia, explained about the experimental tests carried out by using a Fluidnatek LE-500 electrospinning machine for encapsulation of probiotics, resulting that encapsulation kept bacterial viability over 80% for longer times than non-encapsulated at 0%RH and 26%RH.

A. O. Basar from University of Atilim in Turkey presented Emulsion Electrospinning to Control Drug Release of Interest in Pharma Applications, where two different drug loaded electrospun materials were produced and their drug release efficiency were compared. Release studies were carried out in two different media simulating blood (7.4 pH) and stomach (2.5 pH) conditions. Experimental process was carried out using a Fluidnatek LE-100 machine from Bioinicia.

Lorenzo Pastrana from the Iberian International Nanotechnology Laboratory made his presentation about Application of Biopolymer Nanostructures in Food Sector. He explained that there are three primary structures at nanoscale suitable to be used in different applications in the food sector, namely: nanoparticles/nanocapsules, nanolaminates and nanofibres /nanotubes. All these structures can be obtained using food grade biopolymers such as carbohydrates, lipids or proteins. Combining the characteristics derived of the shape of these nanostructures with the biopolymer properties, three main applications can be envisaged. Thus, nanoparticles/nanocapsules can be used as smart delivery systems for bioactive compounds. Nanolaminates are able to develop edible coatings for active packaging of fresh and perishable foods. Nanofibres /nanotubes are suitable to modify rheological properties of foods creating new textures and useful functionalities (spreadable pastes, creams, gels). Electrospinning and electrospraying are ideal technologies for encapsulation as well as for creating membranes with functional purposes.

Dr. José María Lagarón from IATA-CSIC presented Electro-hydrodynamic Processing as a Versatile Nanotechnology to Generate Highly Functional Composites, Coatings and Layers Based on Nanocellulose and Biopolyesters. Dr. Lagarón has a large experience with electrospinning and electrospraying techniques.  In his presentation he showed recent results where nanocellulose was used as a filler to reinforce the barrier performance of electrospun biopolyesters such as polyhydroxyalcanoates to be used as paper and plastic coatings. The effect of different processing parameters and material combinations in mono and multilayer forms on the morphology, thermal, barrier and mechanical performance was explained in detail.

There were many other excellent presentations which were showed at NANOTEC 2016. Some of them are developments reaching already the market or ready to start to be produced at industrial scale. Let’s hope in the near future many other of these interesting research works made at lab turn into solutions available in market, improving life of people.

Source: Abstracts Book of NANOTEC 2016.

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