Principal investigator: Caroline Schauer
University: Drexel University
Industry partner: Whiff, LLC
This research project will expand the utility of the already-developed Touchspinner by Whiff LLC, a manufacturing device that produces 100 nm – 2 μm polymer nanofibers. As opposed to electrospinning, the more traditional process of nanofiber formation, the touchspinning technique does not require high voltage as the fiber formation mechanism. This leads to both a safer overall process, as well as the unique ability to form nanofibers onto non-conductive surfaces. Another benefit over electrospinning is the ability to use less toxic and safer solvents when making the polymer solutions used in the touchspinning process. This reduces the need for post-processing to remove residual solvents and allows for the opportunity to process natural polymers that are difficult to electrospin due to solvent requirements. With this behavior combined with the ability to form fibrous mats across non-conductive substrates, there is the potential to manufacture bioactive bandages with improved healing properties. This project proposes to (1) expand the functionality of the existing single-injector Touchspinner system by developing a multi-tiered injector with software control, (2) validate that the multi-tiered injector can coat a bandage surface via a one-step spinning process using several polymer/solvent systems and (3) generate bandage coatings loaded with antibiotic drugs and determine the release and efficacy of the coatings.