Nanofibers for Probing Hazardous Liquids (2012-024)

Market Overview:

These porous nanofibers are designed to collect extremely small volumes of liquid for analysis, featuring materials that control liquid uptake by a butterfly-type proboscis. The global nanofibers market had an estimated worth of $390.6 million, and is expected to grow at over a 25% CAGR between 2016 and 2024 due to the ever-expanding application space. Sampling of hazardous chemicals or liquids at the cellular level presents a challenge for both safety and sensing capabilities. The ability to deploy, detect, sample, and identify low-volume fluids in a single microfluidics device could be a promising technology with many engineering applications. Clemson University researchers have developed a method of creating nanofibers with the critical materials features of a butterfly proboscis, incorporating the desired aspects to detect and collect potentially hazardous low-volume liquids in a safe manner.

Application                                                            Stage of Development

Low-volume liquid collection/detection,               Preliminary Prototype

Extracting biofluids        


•       Nanofibers possess ordered bands, allowing for proboscis-like fluid transport

•       Porosity of the probes is adjustable, providing control over how much liquid can be absorbed and the rate of liquid uptake and wicking

•       Nanofiber probes can be made ferroelectric or magnetic, enabling remote manipulation to absorb droplets

Technical Summary

The artificial proboscis is fabricated using a library of electrospun polymer fibers. By controlling the time of electrospinning and revolution rate during the twisting of the fibers into yarn, biomimetic transport and mechanical properties comparable to a butterfly proboscis can be obtained. By varying the chemical composition of polymer blends and environmental conditions during electrospinning, a porosity as high as 82% can be achieved. 

View printable PDF version of this technology


Inventors:                        Dr. Konstantin Kornev

Patent Type:                    Provisional

Serial Number:              13/611,971

CURF Ref No:                2012-024

Patent Information:
Advanced Materials
For Information, Contact:
Andy Bluvas
Technology Commercialization Officer
Clemson University Research Foundation
Konstantin Kornev
Chen-Chih Tsai
David Lukas
Petr Mikes
Textiles/Fibers - Non-Optical/Medical/Other
© 2019. All Rights Reserved. Powered by Inteum