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Electrospun nanofiber reinforced composites: a review

S. Jiang, Y. Chen, G. Duan, C. Mei, A. Greiner & S. Agarwal

Polym. Chem., (2018) 9, 2685-2720


This paper provides a comprehensive overview on the properties of electrospun nanofibers and their application as reinforcements in composites. The paper first introduces the remarkable properties of electrospun nanofibers including high aspect ratio and molecular orientation, large specific surface area, small pore size, as well as excellent mechanical performance. Next the fabrication methods for the electrospun nanofiber reinforced composites are described. Then different kinds of electrospun nanofiber reinforced composites are discussed in terms of the classifications of electrospun nanofibers. After that, the influences of the mechanical performance of fibers, fiber diameter, fiber amount, fiber/matrix interfacial interaction and the distribution of fibers in the matrix on the reinforcement of composites are discussed. At the end, the possible future challenges and conclusions for electrospun nanofiber reinforced composites are highlighted.


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selected reviews

New Review coauthored by Shaohua Jiang, Seema Agarwal and Andreas Greiner published in Angewandte Chemie

"Low-density open cellular sponges as functional materials''

DOI: 10.1002/anie.201700684


Welcome to Macromolecular Chemistry II

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Perfektion ist erreicht, nicht, wenn sich nichts mehr hinzufügen lässt, sondern, wenn man nichts mehr wegnehmen kann. (Antoine de Saint-Exupery) (Perfection is achieved, not when nothing more can be added, but when nothing more can be taken away (Antoine de Saint-Exupery))

"Die reinste Form des Wahnsinns ist es, alles beim Alten zu lassen und gleichzeitig zu hoffen, dass sich etwas ändert. (The sheerest madness is to leave everything the way it is and to simultaneously hope that something will change)" Albert Einstein

"The fate of genius is to be misunderstood, but not everything is a misunderstood genius" Ralp Waldo Emmerson (1803-1882)

"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored” (Aldous Huxley, author of Brave New World)

"Die Ablehnung Unwichtiges zu tun, ist eine entscheidende Voraussetzung für den Erfolg“ Sir Alexander MacKenzie

"An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all“ von Oscar Wilde (Eine Idee, die nicht gewagt ist, verdient es nicht, überhaupt eine Idee genannt zu werden)


News 18.07.2018

pH-Responsive Biohybrid Carrier Material for Phenol Decontamination in Wastewater

M. Pretscher, B.A. Pineda-Contreras, P. Kaiser, S. Reich, J. Schöbel, C. Kuttner, R. Freitag, A. Fery, H. Schmalz, S. Agarwal

Biomacromolecules 2018, in print.


Smart polymers are a valuable platform to protect and control the activity of biological agents over a wide range of conditions, such as low pH, by proper encapsulation. Such conditions are present in olive oil mill wastewater with phenol as one of the most problematic constituents. We show that elastic and pH-responsive diblock copolymer fibers are a suitable carrier for Corynebacterium glutamicum, i.e., bacteria which are known for their ability to degrade phenol. Free C. glutamicum does not survive low pH conditions and fails to degrade phenol at low pH conditions. Our tea-bag like biohybrid system, where the pH-responsive diblock copolymer acts as a protecting outer shell for the embedded bacteria, allows phenol degradation even at low pH. Utilizing a two-step encapsulation process, planktonic cells were first encapsulated in poly(vinyl alcohol) to protect the bacteria against the organic solvents used in the second step employing coaxial electrospinning.

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