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WIREs Nanomed Nanobiotechnol
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Multifluid electrospinning for the generation of complex nanostructures

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Abstract New nanostructure means new nanotechnology and nanoscience. The need of complex nanostructure‐based advanced functional nanomaterials has promoted the appearance of several kinds of multifluid electrospinning processes, such as tri‐axial electrospinning, quad‐fluid coaxial electrospinning, tri‐fluid side‐by‐side electrospinning, and coaxial electrospinning with a side‐by‐side core. These multifluid processes can greatly expand the capability of electrospinning in generating new types of nanostructures with different organization manner of the inner parts, and from both spinnable and unspinnable working fluids. The key elements for conducting a multifluid electrospinning lie in a well‐designed spinneret, compatibility of the working fluids, and special operational parameters. The complex nanostructures can be created through direct electrospinning of multiple fluids, through after‐treatment of the electrospun products, and through ingenious design of the components, compositions and their spatial distributions as well. This article provides a simple review on the most recent publications about the multifluid electrospinning processes and the corresponding complex nanostructures. This article is characterized under: Therapeutic Approaches and Drug Discovery > Emerging Technologies Implantable Materials and Surgical Technologies > Nanomaterials and Implants
Complex structure at all material scales: (a) The black‐white Janus earth with multiple‐layer core‐shell structure (the bottom‐left inset); (b) the multiple‐layer structure of an egg; (c) the multiple‐layer core‐shell structure of a cell with the well‐known Janus lipid membranes; (d) a Janus structure of HCl molecule with core‐shell of the inner atom structure (the bottom‐left inset)
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Complex nanostructures from multifluid electrospinning processes: (1) Direct formation: (a) and (b) a typical tri‐layer core‐shell fiber (Kalra et al., ; Liu, Ni, Chase, & Rabolt, , respectively); (c) a quarter‐layer fiber (Labbaf et al., ). (2) Combination with after‐treatment: (d) a core‐sheath fiber with a side‐by‐side core (Lee et al., ); (e) a nanowire‐in‐microtube structure (Chen et al., ); (f–h) multichannel structures (Zhao et al., ); (3) Tailoring the components, compositions, and spatial distributions within each layer: (i, j) tri‐layer core‐shell nanofibers with an intermediate barrier (Han & Steckl, ); (k, l) a tri‐layer fiber with gradient drug distribution (Yu et al., ), Ri, Rm and Ro represent the drug diffusion distance from the inner, middle and outer layers, respectively, the red triangle represents drug molecule
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The digital photos of different kinds of multifluid electrospinning processes: (a) a typical tri‐axial electrospinning process (Yu et al., ); (b) a modified tri‐axial electrospinning process with unspinnable outer and middle layer fluids, and an electrospinnable core fluid (Liu et al., ); (c) a coaxial electrospinning with two side‐by‐side core fluids (Lee et al., ); (d) a side‐by‐side electrospinning using two parallel capillaries as the spinneret; (e) a side‐by‐side working process using an acentric spinneret; and (f) a three‐fluid coaxial electrospinning process with two core fluids organized in an acentric manner. (d–f) are from Yu et al. ()
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Spinneret for multifluid electrospinning: (a) a typical tri‐layer concentric spinneret (Lee, Bai, & Chen, ); (b) an organized tri‐layer spinneret consisting of a double‐layer concentric metal spinneret and an outer polymer layer (Yang, Li, et al., ; Yang, Zhu, et al., ); (c) a coaxial spinneret with a side‐by‐side core (Lee et al., ); (d1) a side‐by‐side spinneret consisting of two parallel metal capillaries; (d2) an acentric side‐by‐side spinneret; (d3) a coaxial spinneret with an acentric core; (e, f) the charge distributions and inner fluid contact models for spinnerets of (c) and (d). (d, f) are from Yu et al. ()
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Implantable Materials and Surgical Technologies > Nanomaterials and Implants
Therapeutic Approaches and Drug Discovery > Emerging Technologies

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