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Mano, Francisca, Marta Martins, Isabel Sá-Nogueira, Susana Barreiros, João Paulo Borges, Rui Reis, Ana Rita Duarte, and Alexandre Paiva. "Production of Electrospun Fast-Dissolving Drug Delivery Systems with Therapeutic Eutectic Systems Encapsulated in Gelatin." AAPS PharmSciTech 18 (2017): 2579-2585. AbstractWebsite

Fast-dissolving delivery systems (FDDS) have received increasing attention in the last years. Oral drug delivery is still the preferred route for the administration of pharmaceutical ingredients. Nevertheless, some patients, e.g. children or elderly people, have difficulties in swallowing solid tablets. In this work, gelatin membranes were produced by electrospinning, containing an encapsulated therapeutic deep-eutectic solvent (THEDES) composed by choline chloride/mandelic acid, in a 1:2 molar ratio. A gelatin solution (30% w/v) with 2% (v/v) of THEDES was used to produce electrospun fibers and the experimental parameters were optimized. Due to the high surface area of polymer fibers, this type of construct has wide applicability. With no cytotoxicity effect, and showing a fast-dissolving release profile in PBS, the gelatin fibers with encapsulated THEDES seem to have promising applications in the development of new drug delivery systems.

Mano, Francisca, Ivo Aroso, Susana Barreiros, João Paulo Borges, Rui Reis, Ana Rita Duarte, and Alexandre Paiva. "Production of Poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) Fibers with Encapsulated Natural Deep Eutectic Solvent (NADES) Using Electrospinning." ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering 3 (2015): 2504-2509. AbstractWebsite

Functionalized electrospun fibers are of great interest for biomedical applications such as in the design of drug delivery systems. Nevertheless, in some cases the molecules of interest have poor solubility in water or have high melting temperatures. These drawbacks can be overcome using deep eutectic solvents. In this work, poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA), a common biodegradable biopolymer, was used to produce new functionalized fibers with the eutectic mixture choline chloride:citric acid in a molar ratio of (1:1) ChCl:CA (1:1), which was used as a model system. Fibers were produced from an aqueous solution with 7.8% (w/v) and 9.8% (w/v) of 95% hydrolyzed PVA and a 2% (v/v) of ChCl:CA (1:1). Smooth, uniform fibers with an average diameter of 0.4 μm were obtained with a content of 19.8 wt % of ChCl:CA (1:1) encapsulated.

Marques, Ana, Davide Miglietta, G. Gaspar, Ana Catarina Baptista, A. Gaspar, P. Perdigão, Iris Soares, Catarina Bianchi, David Sousa, Bruno Morais M. Faustino, V. S. Amaral, T. Santos, A. P. Gonçalves, R. C. da Silva, Fabrizio Giorgis, and Isabel Ferreira. "Synthesis of thermoelectric magnesium-silicide pastes for 3D printing, electrospinning and low-pressure spray." Materials for Renewable and Sustainable Energy 8 (2019): 21. AbstractWebsite

In this work, eco-friendly magnesium-silicide (Mg2Si) semiconducting (n-type) thermoelectric pastes for building components concerning energy-harvesting devices through 3D printing, spray and electrospinning were synthetized and tested for the first time. The Mg2Si fine powders were obtained through the combination of ball milling and thermal annealing under Ar atmosphere. While the latter process was crucial for obtaining the desired Mg2Si phase, the ball milling was indispensable for homogenizing and reducing the grain size of the powders. The synthetized Mg2Si powders exhibited a large Seebeck coefficient of ~ 487 µV/K and were blended with a polymeric solution in different mass ratios to adjust the paste viscosity to the different requirements of 3D printing, electrospinning and low-pressure spray. The materials produced in every single stage of the paste synthesis were characterized by a variety of techniques that unequivocally prove their viability for producing thermoelectric parts and components. These can certainly trigger further research and development in green thermoelectric generators (TEGs) capable of adopting any form or shape with enhanced thermoelectric properties. These green TEGs are meant to compete with common toxic materials such as Bi2Te3, PbTe and CoSb that have Seebeck coefficients in the range of ~ 290–700 μV/K, similar to that of the produced Mg2Si powders and lower than that of 3D printed bulk Mg2Si pieces, measured to be ~ 4866 μV/K. Also, their measured thermal conductivities proved to be significantly lower (~ 0.2 W/mK) than that reported for Mg2Si (≥ 4 W/mK). However, it is herein demonstrated that such thermoelectric properties are not stable over time. Pressureless sintering proved to be indispensable, but difficultly achievable by long thermal annealing (even above 32 h) in inert atmosphere at 400 °C, at least for bulk Mg2Si pieces constituted by a mean grain size of 2–3 μm. Hence, for overcoming this sintering challenge and become the silicide’s extrusion viable in the production of bulk thermoelectric parts, alternative pressureless sintering methods will have to be further explored.

Marques, Susana, Paula I. P. Soares, Coro Echeverria, Maria Helena Godinho, and João Paulo Borges. "Confinement of thermoresponsive microgels into fibres via colloidal electrospinning: experimental and statistical analysis." RSC Advances 6 (2016): 76370-76380. AbstractWebsite

The strategy of confining stimuli-responsive microgels in electrospun fibres would allow the fabrication of polymeric networks that combine the microgels swelling ability and properties with the interest features of the electrospun fibres. Colloidal electrospinning is an emerging method in which fibres containing microgels can be produced by a single-nozzle and designed through the solution carrier materials. The incorporation of poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAAM) and PNIPAAM-chitosan (PNIPAAM-CS) in poly(ethyleneoxyde) (PEO) fibres via colloidal electrospinning producing composite fibres was the main purpose of the present work{,} which was confirmed by means of Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). Dynamic light scattering was used to analyse the microgels hydrodynamic diameter ranging up to 900 nm depending on the composition and temperature of the surrounding medium. By performing a statistical analysis the relationship of the processing variables over the fibre size was evaluated following the response surface methodology (RSM). From the set of parameters aimed to minimize the fibre diameter{,} composite fibres with an average diameter of 63 nm were produced. Only the as-prepared microgels with higher monodispersity provided {"}bead-on-a-string{"} morphologies.

Matos, Ricardo, Catarina Chaparro, Jorge Carvalho Silva, Manuel Valente, João Paulo Borges, and Paula I. P. Soares. "Electrospun composite cellulose acetate/iron oxide nanoparticles non-woven membranes for magnetic hyperthermia applications." Carbohydrate polymers 198 (2018): 9-16. AbstractWebsite

In the present work composite membranes were produced by combining magnetic nanoparticles (NPs) with cellulose acetate (CA) membranes for magnetic hyperthermia applications. The non-woven CA membranes were produced by electrospinning technique, and magnetic NPs were incorporated by adsorption at fibers surface or by addition to the electrospinning solution. Therefore, different designs of composite membranes were obtained. Superparamagnetic NPs synthesized by chemical precipitation were stabilized either with oleic acid (OA) or dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA) to obtain stable suspensions at physiological pH. The incorporation of magnetic NP into CA matrix was confirmed by scanning and transmission electron microscopy. The results showed that adsorption of magnetic NPs at fibers’ surface originates composite membranes with higher heating ability than those produced by incorporation of magnetic NPs inside the fibers. However, adsorption of magnetic NPs at fibers’ surface can cause cytotoxicity depending on the NPs concentration. Tensile tests demonstrated a reinforcement effect caused by the incorporation of magnetic NPs in the non-woven membrane.