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Macromolecular Chemistry II – Prof. Dr. Andreas Greiner (Macromolecular Chemistry & Technology) & Prof. Dr. Seema Agarwal (Advanced Sustainable Polymers)

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New Paper: Tailoring the Morphology of Responsive Bioinspired Bicomponent Fibers


Tailoring the Morphology of Responsive Bioinspired Bicomponent Fibers
M. Gernhardt, L. Peng, M. Burgard, S. Jiang, B. Förster, H. Schmalz, S. Agarwal
Macromol. Mater Eng. 2017 DOI:10.1002/mame.201700248

Nature is an intriguing inspiration for designing a myriad of functional materials. However, artificial mimicking of bioinspired structures usually requires different specialized procedures and setups. In this study, a new upscalable concept is presented that allows to produce two bioinspired, bicomponent fiber morphologies (side-by-side and coaxial bead-on-string) using the same electrospinning setup, just by changing the employed spinning solvent. The generated fiber morphologies are highly attractive for thermoresponsive actuation and water harvesting. Another challenge solved in this work is the compositional characterization of complex fiber morphologies.

Raman imaging and atomic force microscopy is introduced as a powerful method for the unambiguous characterization of complex bicomponent fiber morphologies. The work opens the way for the construction of heterostructured fiber morphologies based on different polymers combinations, offering high potential for applications as actuators, smart textiles, water management, drug release, and catalysis.

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