Electrospun nanofibers are characterized with large surface area to volume ratio, a beneficial property for application as scaffolds, sensors, filters, membranes, batteries, protective clothing, wound dressing and catalyst.
1. Biomedical applications of E-spun nanofibers 1.1. Wound dressing material
Wound dressing is an essential step for rapid healing of the affected part and also offers protection against infection due to micro-organisms.
The silver nanoparticles loaded chitosan NFs exhibited significant activity by restricting the respiration of micro-organism due to attraction of positively charged silver nanoparticles on the negatively charged cell membrane.
Experiment to grow cells and tissues in laboratory is an intense field of research for human welfare. High surface area and short diffusion passage length of nanofibers increased their use as scaffold material by higher rate of drug release than the bulk material. Nanofibers possess control over the drug release and hence improved its efficiency towards the sustained discharge of drug rather than the burst release.
1.3. Drug Delivery
Common cancer treatments have many limitations such as clinical toxicity in radiotherapy, toxicity to healthy cells by overdose of drugs in chemotherapy and limited distribution of drugs in blood vessels. In this connection, nanofibers extend its role in cancer therapy by easier drug carrier and release material.
2. Applications of E-spun NFs in chemistry 2.1. Catalyst
E-spun nanofibers proved to be an excellent material as catalyst for organic transformations. Nanoparticles decorated nanofibers provides superior selectivity and reusability compared to bulk heterogeneous catalysts.
2.2. Cells and batteries
Depends on the solid nature of conductive polymeric materials, the ionic mobility can be enhanced/declined and hence influence the charge/discharge capacity as well as the storage capacity.
3. Applications of E-spun nanofibers in defence 3.1. Protective clothing and sensors
Nanofibers with surface pores are used as catalyst for the degradation of chemical warfare stimulants (CWS). Nanofibers of β-Cyclodextrin derivatives shows 11.5 times faster hydrolysis CWS than the conventional activated carbon used in protective clothing and canisters.
4. Applications of E-spun nanofibers in environmental protection 4.1. Removal of toxic wastes by NFs
Surface functionalized Nanofibers with active groups are responsible for the removal of toxicants in waste water and drinking water by adsorption of such toxicants on their surface. Nanofibers act as the sorbent materials for the removal of oestrogen from aqueous solution.
4.2. Air filtration
Nanofibers provide marked increases in filtration efficiency at relatively small (and in some cases immeasurable) decreases in permeability. Nanofiber filter media also demonstrate improved filter life and more contaminate holding capacity.