Fibre and Polymer Technology

Fibers, and the polymers they’re made of, are the building blocks of all textile materials. Therefor at CTSE we focus on developing new polymers, modifying existing polymers and create new types of fibers and fiber structures. Approaching this research from a ‘molecule to filament’ viewpoint offers many possibilities to tune the final materials to the demands of the applications in terms of energy-use, mechanical performance, unique properties and so on. One key research area is that of electrospinning of nanofibers and nanofibrous membranes. They can be thought of as a novel class of materials consisting of very thin fibres with typical diameters below 500 nm. As a comparison, classical “textile” fibres have diameters between 50 and 200 µm. The small diameter gives nanofibrous membranes interesting characteristics such as a large surface area, a high porosity (> 90%) and improved mechanical properties compared to the bulk polymer. These materials possess a lot of potential for a broad field of applications such as in wound dressings, advanced composites, filter technology, batteries, sensors and much more. A glossary of some of our current research topics is given below.

Colorimetric nanofibers for sensor applicationsNanofibrous sensors

Small fibers, big warnings: how tiny threads visualize threats.

Built from a combination of polymers and stimuli-sensitive dyes, colorimetric nanofibrous sensors warn us against conditions that threaten our health or safety via a color change.

Therapeutic nanofibers for drug deliveryTherapeutic nanofibers

How nanofibers can heal you faster

As over 60% of all orally taken drugs suffer from being poorly water soluble, our research shows that incorporating the drug inside nanofibers can increase the solubility tremendously.

Thermoresponsive polymers for environmentally friendly electrospinninggreen electrospinning

How we can make the future of electrospinning greener

Thanks to their solubility in non-toxic solvents, thermoresponsive polymers help in making electrospinning a more eco-friendly production process for crosslinked or non-crosslinked nanofibers with varying affinity for aqueous media.

Ion-exchange nanofiber membranes for electrochemical water treatmentIon-exchange nanofibers

Solving environmental challenges with nanofibers

The use of stand-alone ceramic nanofibers as ion-exchange membranes for electrochemical water treatment applications leads to improved chemical resistance and fouling properties.

Hybrid nanofibrous membranes with superior properties for advanced wound dressingsHybrid nanofibrous membranes with superior properties for advanced wound dressings

Creating the ideal environment for improved healing using nanofibers

Engineering hybrid nanofibrous membranes that combine superior moisture regulation with controlled antimicrobial action and conformability will significantly advance the preparation of widely applicable multifunctional wound dressings.

Connecting (organo)silica sol-gel synthesis and electrospinning: pushing toward molecular scale-driven property tuningLinking the chemical structure to the properties of silica nanofibers

Linking the chemical structure to the properties of silica nanofibers

Combining experimental and modeling techniques leads to an improved understanding on the synthesis and properties of (organo)silica nanofibers, which increases their application potential.

Silica nanofibrous membranes for advanced engineering applicationselectrospinning inorganics

Stand-alone inorganic membranes via the combination of electrospinning and sol-gel technology

By combining sol-gel technology with electrospinning, highly thermal and chemical inert stand-alone silica nanofibrous membranes are developed for the use in advanced engineering applications, such as separation/purification and catalysis.

Electrospun nanofibrous yarns for tissue engineering applicationsElectrospun nanofibrous yarns for tissue engineering applications

Expanding the end-product possibilities of nanofibers through yarn electrospinning.