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Uniform-field electrospinning for 3D printing of fibrous configurations as strain sensors.

08:00 EDT 13th June 2019 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Uniform-field electrospinning for 3D printing of fibrous configurations as strain sensors."

Electrospinning is becoming an efficient method to produce fibers in the submicron range, but the bending instability of conventional electrospinning system (CES) brings limitations in the distinctive deposition of electrospun fibers. Herein, we proposed a strategy to update the electrospinning system through establishment of a uniform electric field, realizing 3D printing of electrospun fibers with well-controlled, low-cost, and template-free manners. The uniform field electrospinning (UFES) apparatus is configured by inserting the electrospinning nozzle into the center of an aided metal plate. The electric field simulation of UFES indicates a uniform distribution between the aided metal plate and the collector, while a diverging and weaker electric field is produced by CES. The collector of UFES is mounted on a translation stage, which moves along x and y axes under computer control. The distinctive deposition of electrospun fibers produces fibrous mats with rectangular patterns of different grid sizes, and bufferfly and TaiJi figures with high resolutions are directly written by UFES. The layer-by-layer deposition of electrospun fibers under UFES produces microscale Mongolian yurts with distinct hollow structure. Fibrous blocks with an average width of 120 μm and height of 630 μm were printed by UFES from conductive polymer composites and constructed into strain sensors. The electric current strength of fibrous microblocks changes sharply in response to the finger bending and release, indicating the capability to monitor human motions. Thus, this study demonstrates that the UFES becomes an easy-handling strategy for 3D printing of electrospun fibers to create complex geometries.

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This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Nanotechnology
ISSN: 1361-6528
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