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R1 PM Nanotechnology Environmental Remediation, Fate, and Transport
(HUS-1117-838864) Applications of Nanofibers and their Fate and Transport in the Environment.
Hussain, M1, Guven, N1, Nallani, G1, Ramkumar, S1, 1 Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX, USA
ABSTRACT- Electrospun nanofibers have created a new and rapidly growing research area due to its pronounced micro and nano characteristics such as high surface area with porous structure, fiber diameter at nano level, filtration properties, high permeability, layer thinness etc. Three different types of nanofibers have been developed in our laboratory and the first group of nanofibers is produced from a single polymeric solution (polyethylene oxide and polyurethane) by electrospinning process. These nanofibers have high filtration efficiency compared to those currently available in market. The second group of nanofibers is known as nanocompositefibers in which functional structures are incorporated in order to make them chemically active. Nanocrystalline magnesium oxide and titanium oxide have been used with polyethylene oxide and these composites can work against chemical warfare agents, organophosphorus compounds and can block ultraviolet radiation efficiently. Biodegradable polymers are the third type of nanofibers, which were made from polyepsilon-caprolactone and chitosan. These fibers can be used as cellular scaffold and in drug delivery as well. All of these nanofibers were obtained in the range of 50 nm to 300 nm and were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), electron dispersion spectroscopy (EDS) and X-ray diffraction method (XRD). In order to minimize the toxic effects of these nanofibers, nontoxic polymers were first selected. On the other hand, most of the polymers are not soluble in water; therefore selection of nontoxic solvent is another critical part for this fabrication process. The residual solvent in the final product is then removed by vacuum drying of these nanofibers. Since nanofibers are mostly used for filtration purposes and in chemical protective clothings, the disposal of nanofibers is always a sensitive issue. The fate and transport properties of the nanofibers are currently under investigation and the results will be reported in the presentation.
Key words: Electrospinning, Nanofibers, Scaffold
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