Electrospinning is a low cost, low energy process which generates polymer nanofibres from solutions and has been an ever-increasing research area in size since the turn of the millennium.
There is a wide range of potential applications for these nanofibres, from tissue engineering to power generation. Due to the scale of production of nanofibres from electrospinning, much of the current research has been focused on medical applications. Targeted drug delivery, scaffolds for tissue regeneration or replacements have all been proposed. However, a lack of defined control over the process has prevented it from making a real world impact.
Our work is focused on the controlling the parameters of the electrospinning process in order to control the fibre output. We have published some recent work on using statistical experimentation to find out how changing combinations of parameters can influence the final fibre properties, particularly demonstrating that finite process changes can markedly change the final fibre diameters and that the fibre diameter distribution can be closely controlled using such knowledge. We have also developed a method to determine the quality of control with respect to fibre diameter.