Smart nanofibrillar constructs can be a promising technological solution for many emerging and established fields, facilitating the potential impact of nano-scale strategies to address relevant technological challenges. As a fabrication technique, electrospinning (ESP) is relatively well-known, accessible, economic, and fast, though until now has shown limitation over control and design of the fibrillar constructs which can be produced. Here, we introduce 'Tandem Electrospinning' (T-ESP), a novel technique able to create increasingly complex patterns of fibrous polymeric constructs on a micro and nano-scale. Modifying a standard ESP configuration results in a focusing electric field that is able to spatially define the deposition pattern of multiple polymer jets simultaneously. Additional spatially defined heterogeneity is achieved by tuning polymer solution properties to obtain a gradient of fiber alignment. Heterogeneous fibrous meshes are created with either random, aligned, or a divergent fiber patterns. This approach holds potential for many fields, with application examples shown for tissue engineering and separation technologies. The technique outlined here provides a rapid, versatile, and accessible method for polymeric nanofabrication of patterned heterogeneous fibrous constructs. Polymer properties are also shown to dictate fiber alignment, providing further insight into the mechanisms involved in the electrospinning fabrication process.
- 22/2 OA procedure