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Maskless Arrayed Nanofiber Mats by Bipolar Pyroelectrospinning

Rega, Romina, Gennari, Oriella, Mecozzi, Laura, Pagliarulo, Vito, Bramanti, Alessia, Ferraro, Pietro, Grilli, Simonetta
ACS applied materials & interfaces 2019 v.11 no.3 pp. 3382-3387
electrodes, geometry, lithium, nanofibers, nozzles, tissue engineering
The numerous advantages of micro- and nanostructures produced by electrospinning (ES) have stimulated enormous interest in this technology with potential application in several fields. However, ES still has some limitations in controlling the geometrical arrangement of the fiber mats so that expensive and time-consuming technologies are usually employed for producing ordered geometries. Here we present a technique that we call “bipolar pyroelectrospinning” (b-PES) for generating ordered arrays of fiber mats in a direct manner by using the bipolar pyroelectric field produced by a periodically poled lithium niobate crystal (PPLN). The b-PES is free from expensive electrodes, nozzles, and masks because it makes use simply of the structured pyroelectric field produced by the PPLN crystal used as collector. The results show clearly the reliability of the technique in producing a wide variety of arrayed fiber mats that could find application in bioengineering or many other fields. Preliminary results of live cells patterning under controlled geometrical constraints is also reported and discussed in order to show potential exploitation as a scaffold in tissue engineering.