The Electrospinning Process
Electrospinning is an established method of producing nano- and micro-fibres from a wide variety of natural and synthetic polymers. A polymer solution is injected at a constant feed rate though a nozzle or needle which is charged to a high voltage, typically 10 to 30 kV. The applied voltage induces a charge on the surface of the liquid droplet and when this is sufficiently high, the hemispherical surface of the fluid elongates and a Taylor cone is established. On increasing the applied voltage further, a charged liquid jet is ejected from the Taylor cone and attracted to the earthed collector, which is positioned at a fixed distance from the needle. During this process the solvent evaporates from the polymer solution, leaving dry polymer fibres on the collector.
The electrospinning process can be used to create synthetic scaffolds for implantation. The advantages of this process are the ability to tailor polymer, architecture and structure to create materials suitable for different therapeutic applications. In recent years there has been a rise of interest in nanofibres produced by electrospinning technique as shown by patent and publication data. According to a recent publication by Nascimento et al., more than 1,891 patents using the term “electrospinning” and 2,960 with the term “nanofibers” according to the European Patent Office at title or abstract have been filed around the world up to 2013. For the same period 11,973 electrospinning documents and 18,679 nanofibers-related (mainly manuscripts) were published considering the Scopus database with the same terms in the title, abstract or using keywords. These are still predominantly academic because of the challenges of industrialising the process, specifically by standardising production to make it reproducible and scalable, but represent a huge potential for novel, affordable therapeutic products. The Electrospinning Company is addressing these challenges and is excited to be part of the project that launched the first electrospun biomaterial onto the market in 2016.
What makes us special?
We use sophisticated electrospinning equipment and proprietary know-how in manufacturing methods and polymer chemistry to guarantee batch-to-batch reproducibility and precisely control important fibre parameters, such as diameter and surface texture.
The electrospinning process is notoriously sensitive to multiple factors. We are focused on the production of highly consistent scaffolds, and this reproducibility makes them suitable for clinical applications and scalable.
The quality of each scaffold batch is checked for a range of specifications, agreed with the customer, including fibre diameter, pore size, porosity, thickness, mechanical properties and residual solvent.
We produce all our material in a Class V cleanroom using state-of-the art electrospinning equipment and are ISO 13485 certified.