Nano-thread and nanotextiles production technology: Unveiling the limitlesspotential of nanoscale fibers in science and technology

Background Information

The global market for conventional woven textiles is ∼the U.S. $1.2 trillionwith applications in a diverse range of products from automobile to aerospace and consumer goods, with8% for medical devices. In conventional textile technology, threads are developed from micron sizefilaments/fibers. Nanotextiles, defined as textiles developed from nano-threads, contain bundles ofthousands of fibers in the nanoscale range. The invention of nanotextiles could unfold new frontiers in thecoming decade with properties significantly different from conventional textiles. Increased surface areaand enhanced mechanical properties of nano-fiber-based textiles overrode the conventional textile-basedproducts. Despite the great demand for nanotextiles, a technology gap exists in the development andlarge-scale production of nanoscale threads and textiles

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Background Information

During my Ph.D., novel technology was devised to collect and bundle nanofibers to fabricatethreads of continuous length with high mechanical strength and enormous surface area. The technologywas demonstrated using different polymers, conducting and non-conducting, biodegradable and non-biodegradable, to encompass its utility for broader application, detailed in the U.S. patentUS20180274134. In addition, the new technology also facilitated the loading of medical drugs in nano-threads, a feature unrealizable in the conventional medical threads, leading to greater functionality. Thesestrong nano-threads could also be maneuvered into constructs of varied architecture and dimensions forbiomedical applications

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Of particular importance for commercialization is obtaining nanothreads and their wovenproducts, in a continuous fashion using conventional textile technology. Through a series of experiments,we identified the fabrication process to develop nanothreads and nanotextiles. Thousands of fibers presentin the nanotextiles provide superior mechanical properties and surface area that bestows uniqueadvantages in medical and technical applications such as medical devices, filters, sensors, solar cells,batteries, and many others. For example, in one embodiment, nanothreads were used to reinforce bonescaffolds promoting fracture healing, currently testing in clinical trials on humans. In anotherembodiment, medical drugs were loadedin the nanothreads to hasten the wound closure and alleviatelocal pain and inflammation.

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Joseph J, Nair S V, Menon D. Integrating Substrateless Electrospinning with Textile Technology for Creating Biodegradable Three-Dimensional Structure

Anitha A, Joseph J, Menon D, Nair S V, Nair MB. Electrospun Yarn Reinforced NanoHA Composite Matrix as a Potential Bone Substitute for Enhanced Regeneration of Segmental Defects. Tissue Eng

Padmakumar S, Joseph J, Neppalli MH, Mathew SE, Nair S V., Shankarappa SA, et al. Electrospun Polymeric Core-sheath Yarns as Drug Eluting Surgical Sutures. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces


Menon D, Joseph J, Nair SV. Electrospinning apparatus and method for producing multi-dimensionalstructures and core-sheath yarns. US201802741