An introduction to healthcare and medical textiles by Zhong, Wen

By Zhong, Wen

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Acrylonitrile polymers have been developed for a variety of uses. Their properties also vary. Acrylic fibers for general use have a moderate mechanical strength and a low capacity of water absorbency. They are mostly used for apparel and furnishings. Acrylic fibers can be modified into a series of variants with enhanced functions for specific end uses in the medical and healthcare sectors. , modified acrylic) fibers possess low levels of acrylonitrile units (35–85%). Among them, the most well-known are modacrylic fibers that serve as a flame retardant (FR) or are antibacterial.

Electrospun Nanofibers Electrospinning is a method to produce ultra-fine (in nanometers) fibers by charging and ejecting a polymer melt or solution through a spinneret under a high-voltage electric field and to solidify or coagulate it to form a filament. Introduced in 1934 (Formhals, 1934), the technology has recently recaptured attention due to its capacity to produce nano-size fibers from both natural and synthetic polymers. 1. The process of electrospinning is as follows. Solution ready for the spinning is delivered to a stainless spinneret via a syringe pump.

The more flexible polymer chains may even contribute to better orientations of the resulting fibers (Wang, Chien et al. 2007). Humidity, another important ambient condition, has variant effects on the electrospun nanofibers depending on their chemical natures. , 2004). It is worth noting that the above factors that affect the morphology and properties of electrospun nanofibers are not independent. They play synergistic roles in determining the performance of the final nanofibers. It is therefore essential that ALL these factors be taken into consideration before the electrospinning process for any ONE specific polymer.

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