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  1. Abstract Nanofibers have attracted significant interest due to their unique properties such as high specific surface area, high aspect ratio, and spatial interconnectivity. Nanofibers can exhibit multifunctional properties and unique opportunities for promising applications in a wide variety of fields. Hierarchical design strategies are being used to prescribe the internal structure of nanofibers, such as core-sheath, concentric layers, particles distributed randomly or on a lattice, and co-continuous network phases. This review presents a comprehensive overview of design strategies being used to produce the next generation of nanofiber systems. It includes a description of nanofiber processing methods and their effects on the nano- and microstructure. Physico-chemical effects, such as self-assembly and phase separation, on the ultimate morphology of fibers made from designed emulsions, polymer blends, and block copolymers, are then described. This review concludes with perspectives on existing challenges and future directions for hierarchical design strategies to produce internally structured nanofibers. 
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  2. In this study, Forcespinning®was used to produce nanofibers composed of Opuntia cochenillifera, “nopal,” mucilage (N) extract, chitosan (CH), and pullulan (PL) (N/CH/PL). These nopal-incorporating nanofibers were examined for their ability to sustain adhesion and proliferation of mouse embryonic fibroblast (NIH 3T3) cells. After a 6-day incubation period, N/CH/PL nanofibers displayed robust cell proliferation, with continued cell growth after an extended incubation period of 14 days. These results demonstrate that natural bioactive compounds can be combined with biodegradable polymers to provide an enhanced environment for cell growth, suggesting potential natural active ingredients as alternatives in wound dressings.

     
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  3. Abstract

    In this study, nanofibers composed ofOpuntia cochenilliferanopal mucilage (N) extract combined with chitosan (CH) and pullulan (PL) (N/CH/PL) were produced via Forcespinning®. The developed nonwoven composite membranes are composed of long, continuous and homogeneous fibers with average fiber diameter varying between 251 ± 77 nm and 406 ± 127 nm depending on the concentration of N. After crosslinking, the developed membranes were highly stable in water. The water absorption capacity of the N/CH/PL composite nanofiber membranes was shown to be 65% higher compared to CH/PL nanofiber membranes. Nopal dip‐coated membranes show inhibition of Gram‐negativeEscherichia coli, indicating antibacterial properties. These findings suggest that the incorporation of naturally derived nopal extract into nanofiber systems could provide a natural alternative for dressings used in wound healing applications. © 2020 Society of Chemical Industry

     
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