From Naval Medical Research Unit, San Antonio Public Affairs
Scientists plan to integrate nanofibers into coatings for use on medical materials, such as titanium implants, to improve treatment for craniofacial injuries. These nanofibers can deliver bioactive agents at a sustained rate and can be assembled into a 3-D architecture to guide cell behavior.
To synthesize the nanofibers,
In using the electrospinner for the creation of a nanofiber-based coating, a polymer solution is first fed through a spinneret under an applied electric field, the droplets elongate under the electric charge, and a thin, continuous fiber of submicron diameter is created.
The nanofiber composition and structure are readily controlled during the electrospinning process, enabling the user to tailor nanofibers to a wide variety of biomedical applications.
A project underway at
The nanofiber scaffold will promote tissue repair by creating a surface which mimics that of the natural cellular environment, while simultaneously releasing growth factors to accelerate healing and potentially minimize the formation of scar tissue.
Researchers may also use nanofibers to develop antimicrobial coatings on cranial implants. Nanofibers can be loaded with antibiotic drugs and then bonded to the surface of the implant to achieve localized sustained release of the drug.
Using nanofiber coatings may reduce the incidences of postoperative bacterial infection and subsequent surgeries due to implant rejection.
While development of the nanofiber technology is ongoing, these nanofiber coatings offer the potential to improve patient outcomes and reduce costs associated with wound treatment.
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