A powerful electrodeposition unit that creates core-shell, sheathed fibers, and polymer-matrix composites of controllable porosity.
Qosain Scientific’s electrodeposition unit allows the possibility of the creation of novel morphological structures of various polymers on a wide variety of substrates and matrices. These polymers are driven by an intense electric field achieved by a high voltage supply. The polymeric solution is slowly discharged from a needle with the help of a pump that ejects the solution out of a syringe. The polymer can effuse in the form of a jet (electrospinning) or spray (electrospraying) depending on the voltage, the distance between the electrodes, and the properties of the solution. The substrate can be heated in-situ while the polymer is deposited. It can also reach different regions of the substrate by mounting the latter on translation stages which allow horizontal movement. The vertical distance between the tip of the needle and the syringe can also be adjusted.
Scientific and technological objectives
- Possibility of creating core-shell and sheathed fibers and polymer-matrix composites
- Controllable porosity, the mechanical advantage of electrospun fibers
- Fabrication of random and oriented polymeric fibers
- Nanostructure design and production
The apparatus has three main parts:
- A deposition chamber that contains a syringe pump mounted vertically and facing the bottom, a user detachable high-voltage connection, and a hot plate mounted on a horizontally placed motorized planar stage. The substrate is placed on the heater. The heater can be switched off. The motorized stage allows movement of the heater in two perpendicular directions (say x and y). The distance between the syringe needle and the heater (called z) is manually adjusted and can be physically measured.
- A controller which includes a mechanism for the (a) syringe pump, (b) lateral translation stages, (c) high voltage supply, (d) heater and temperature as well as the power buses to power up the unit. It also enables the user to control the HV supply, hot plate temperature, and system power using adjustment knobs and power switches mounted on its front panel.
- A PC for interfacing between the various components. An interactive user interface that can be downloaded from the Qosain Scientific Cloud-based installer called the “Qosain Package Manager”, runs on the PC and provides a seamless interface with the machine. The software can be used to graphically monitor and control the movement of the syringe pump and the linear stages. The software allows us to customize many operation parameters like the shape of the raster pattern, movement speeds, working area, and pumping capacity and intensity.
Key Advantages of electrospun and electro sprayed morphologies
- Interconnected fibrous structure with a large surface-to-volume ratio
- Nanoscale dimensions
- Controlled, delayed release of bioactive and chemically active reagents
- Tissue engineering, wound healing, drug delivery platforms
- Energy storage, electronically active coatings
- Food preservation, coating, bio-activation
- Textile protection and texturing for anti-wash, fungicidal and pesticidal properties
Overview of use
To synthesize fibers or spraying the substrate with the polymeric material, a syringe, filled with the required material, is installed in the syringe pump. The properties of this solution such as viscosity, concentration are chosen by the researcher.
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