Nanofibers to support the wound healing process
Nanofibrous layers made from biopolymers (chitosan, gelatin, collagen, PLA, etc. or combinations of these materials) can be used to support the wound healing process.
Nanofibrous material containing antibacterials and pharmaceuticals can be used to clean contaminated wounds. Granulation and re‑epithelialization of new skin tissue can be enhanced by adding growth factors and other materials which promote skin tissue proliferation. Wounds can be covered with a single layer of nanofibers or a composite layer of nanofibers with other materials incorporated.
Nanofibers in tissue engineering
Benefits of using nanofibers:
- Nanofibers mimic the natural extracellular matrix structure in which cells naturally adhere.
- Nanofibers have a small diameter which closely matches the size of the extracellular matrix. This makes them ideal for attachment, proliferation for tissue renewal and cell differentiation.
- Nanofibers can serve as transporters for bioactive factors such as controlled transport of growth factors and hormones so that the "artificial tissue" grows correctly.
- The scaffold components are bioactive and biodegradable
Protective textiles in healthcare
Barrier textiles are used for surgical gowns, respirators, and disposable face mask production. They contain hydrophobic nanofibrous layers (e.g. polyurethane or polyvinyldenfluoride), and are an effective barrier to preventing the penetration of microorganisms (viruses, bacteria, fungi). Protective textiles are prepared as a "Sandwich". The nanofibrous layer is sealed between the carrier and the cover layer. A composite "Sandwich" is produced by laminating a cover layer onto a carrier layer. Nonwoven spunbond or melt‑blown fabrics can be used as a carrier and cover layer.
Up to 100% solubility
Dissolving pharmaceuticals with poor water solubility is a major challenge in new drug delivery. Over 60% of pharmaceuticals on the market are insoluble in water, so new ways are being sought to incorporate and deliver these drugs. Nanofibers can be used to solve these drug solubility issues.
Oral drug delivery strips made from nanofibers show great potential to easily and rapidly deliver pharmaceuticals to a patient. A recent study investigated the effects of a polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) nanofiber strip containing ibuprofen. Ibuprofen is a nonsteroidal anti‑inflammatory drug that's often used as a model of a drug with poor water solubility. PVP is a safe to ingest, synthetic hydrophilic polymer widely used in medicine, food and cosmetics. The results of this study demonstrated that nanofibers improved the oral dissolution rate of ibuprofen. During the first minute after the patient placed the PVP nanofiber strip in their mouth, 96‑100% of the drug was released. For comparison, the drug's solubility when applying ibuprofen in powder form is around 2.5‑7.5%.
The synergistic effects of the hydrophilic polymer, combined with the large surface area and porosity of the nanofiber strip, and the amorphous state of the drug, aid in rapid oral delivery.