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3D/4D Printing and Electrospinning for Health Care and Energy Applications

Release time:June 17, 2019

Topic: 3D/4D Printing and Electrospinning for Health Care and Energy Applications

Speaker: Norbert Radacsi, The University of Edinburgh

Time: 19:00 PM, June 17

Venue: Room 509, Main Building South-Wing

Abstract:

Three-dimensional (3D) printing and nanotechnology are revolutionizing the science and engineering of advanced materials. Low-cost fused deposition modelling (FDM) 3D printing can be used e.g. to rapidly manufacture patient-specific abdominal aortic aneurysm or an electrospinning rig. Electrospinning is a simple and inexpensive technique that allows the fabrication of continuous nanofibers at industrial scales. Due to their high surface area, electrospun fibers have potential applications in filtration, sensing, catalysis, energy, drug delivery and tissue engineering. Many electrospun nanofibers can be carbonized, and applied in air filtration, or can be used for water treatment even without the carbonization process.

We have recently developed a new nanoprinting technique that merges conventional 3D printing with electrospinning1. 3D/4D electrospinning technology is capable of assembling macroscopic 3D (smart) objects consisting of nanofibers hundred times faster than conventional 3D printing technologies. 4D printing can be defined as 3D printing objects that can change their shape over time, or in response to an environmental stimulus2. Such shape-changing objects can respond to changing parameters, like heat, light, moisture, pH, and can be used in soft robotic systems, smart textiles, drug delivery or biomedical devices. The full potential of 4D printing technology will be achieved when nanoscale manipulation and programming during the production process is possible. We have identified possible ways to make a “smart” material into 3D nanofibrous scaffolds using the 3D electrospinning apparatus.

This technique can improve catalytic activity, and be used for energy by fabricating 3D nanostructured electrodes for batteries, supercapacitors or fuel cells.

These nanofibers can be also used as ultra-sensitive sensors, and are promising for tissue engineering applications, since they mimic the nanoscale properties of native extracellular matrix.



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