Nanofibers: Uses and Applications of Nanofibers
A nanofiber is a fiber with a diameter of 100 nanometers or less. The
properties of nanofibers have caused researchers and companies to consider using this material in several fields.
A survey of the applications of nanofibers:
Researchers are using nanofibers to
cancer cells circulating in the blood stream. They use
nanofibers coated with antibodies that bind to cancer cells,
trapping the cancer cell for analysis.
Nanofibers can stimulate the
production of cartilage in damaged joints. Three different approaches to the use
of nanofibers to stimulate cartilage are being taken by researchers at
Northwestern University and at the
University of Pennsylvania.
Reseachers are using nanofibers to delivery thrapeutic drugs. The have developed
an elastic material that is embedded with needle like carbon nanofibers. The material is
intended to be used as balloons which are inserted next diseased
tissue, and then inflated. When the balloon is inflated the
carbon nanofibers penetrate diseased cells and delivery
Researchers at MIT have used carbon nanofibers to
make lithium ion battery electrodes that show
four times the storage
capacity of current lithium ion batteries.
The next step beyond lithium-ion batteries may
be lithium sulfur batteries (the cathode contains the sulfur), which
have the capability of storing several times the energy of lithium-ion
batteries. Researchers at Stanford University are using cathodes made up
carbon nanofibers encapsulating the sulfur.
Researchers are using nanofibers to make
change color as they absorb chemical vapors. They plan to use these
sensors to show when the absorbing material in a gas mask becomes
Researchers have developed piezoelectric
nanofibers that are flexible enough to be woven into clothing. The
turn normal motion into electricity to power your cell phone and other
mobile electronic devices.
Flame retardant formed by coating the foam used in
furniture with carbon nanofibers.