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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. Abstract

    This study focuses on the fabrication, characterization and anticancer properties of biocompatible and biodegradable composite nanofibers consisting of poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA), oxymatrine (OM), and citric acid (CA) using a facile and high‐yield centrifugal spinning process known as Forcespinning. The effects of varying concentrations of OM and CA on fiber diameter and molecular cross‐linking are investigated. The morphological and thermo‐physical properties, as well as water absorption of the developed nanofiber‐based mats are characterized using microscopical analysis, energy dispersive X‐ray spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, differential scanning calorimetry, and thermogravimetric analysis. In vitro anticancer studies are conducted with HCT116 colorectal cancer cells. Results show a high yield of long fibers embedded with beads. Fiber average diameters range between 462 and 528 nm depending on OM concentration. The thermal analysis results show that the fibers are stable at room temperature. The anticancer study reveals that PVA nanofiber membrane with high concentrations of OM can suppress the proliferation of HCT116 colorectal cancer cells. The study provides a comprehensive investigation of OM embedded into nanosized PVA fibers and the prospective application of these membranes as a drug delivery system.

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  3. Abstract

    Thermogravimetric analysis of polyethylene oxide (powder and nanofibers obtained by force spinning water or chloroform solutions of polyethylene oxide) was studied using different theoretical models such as Friedman and Flynn‐Wall‐Ozawa. A semiempirical approach for estimating the “sigmoid activation energy” from the thermal degradation was suggested and confirmed by the experimental data on PEO powder and nanofibers' mats. The equation allowed for calculating a “sigmoid activation energy” from a single thermogram using a single heating rate without requiring any model for the actual complex set of chemical reactions involved in the thermal degradation process. For PEO (powder and nanofibers obtained from water solutions), the “sigmoid activation energy” increased as the heating rate was increased. The sigmoid activation energy for PEO mats obtained from chloroform solutions exhibited a small decrease as the heating rate was increased. Thermograms' derivatives were fitted to determine the coordinates of the inflection points. The “sigmoid activation energy” was compared to the activation energy determined from the Flynn‐Wall‐Ozawa model. Similarities between the thermal degradation of polyethylene oxide powder and of the nanofibers obtained from water solutions were discussed. Significant differences between the sigmoid activation energies of the mats obtained from water and chloroform solutions were reported.

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  4. 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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  5. 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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