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Posted: Apr 23, 2013
Nanofibers from Biopolymers at the BIO International Convention in Chicago
(Nanowerk News) In Chicago this week, Contipro Biotech, a European company, is presenting its nanotechnology device, 4SPIN, capable of preparing nano-materials from biopolymers. Thanks to this device, company expects a significant increase in new applications of biomaterials in biotech and medicine.
Nanofibers are thousands of times finer than a human hair. Their small magnitude is ideal for many amazing applications where conventional materials are unable to achieve a comparable result. These include filtration, where the tiny pores of nanofibers can prevent the passage of viruses and bacteria, and utilization of huge surface areas of nanofibers, made possible by their slight volume. A great future is also projected in electronics, energy, optics, defence and environmental applications.
Electrospinning device - 4SPIN
Why from biopolymers?
However, as the price of producing nano-materials remains higher than that of conventional materials, the most widespread application is expected where the benefits of nano-materials significantly outweigh their higher price. In this respect, it is also claimed that approximately two thirds of new nano-applications will be in pharmacy and medicine. This is why nanofibers from biocompatible polymers are so interesting.
Nanofibers from biopolymers can be used, for example, to create scaffolding as support for cells in the production of new tissues. Well-designed scaffolding provides support for cells and gives them signals about how to organize and develop, and how to create a graft to replace the patientís damaged tissue. Then, on completion of the healing process, all support components are fully absorbed. An important aspect which plays a major role in determining the future development of new applications for medicine will be the ability to create the necessary structures and materials from the human bodyís own substances.
About the device
4SPIN is a high-tech electrospinning device that relies on electronic rather than manual control. Apart from the emphasis on the ability of fibrous and difficult-to-process materials, it is characterized by a high degree of operating safety. It is universally applicable, including preparation for placement in clean rooms, thus also facilitating research into medical nano-applications. A laboratory device will soon complement the pilot-operational and operational version of the apparatus.