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Plasma-assisted development and functionalization of electrospun mats for tissue engineering purposes

Objective

"In this project, I will explore the unique combination of two fascinating research themes: electrospinning and plasma technology. Electrospun nanofibrous matrices (so-called mats) are an exciting class of materials with a wide range of possible applications. Nevertheless, the development and functionalization of these electrospun materials remain very challenging tasks.

Atmospheric pressure plasma technology will be utilized by my research group to create advanced biodegradable electrospun mats with unprecedented functionality and performance. To realise such a major breakthrough, plasma technology will be implemented in different steps of the manufacturing process: pre-electrospinning and post-electrospinning.

My group will focus on four cornerstone research lines, which have been carefully chosen so that all critical issues one could encounter in creating advanced biodegradable electrospun mats are tackled. Research cornerstone A aims to develop biodegradable electrospun mats with appropriate bulk properties, while in research cornerstone B pre-electrospinning polymer solutions will be exposed to non-thermal atmospheric plasmas. This will be realized by probing unexplored concepts such as discharges created inside polymer solutions. In a third cornerstone C, an in-depth study of the interactions between an atmospheric pressure plasma and an electrospun mat will be carried out. Finally, the last cornerstone D will focus on plasma-assisted surface modification of biodegradable electrospun mats for tissue engineering purposes.

Realization of these four cornerstones would result in a major breakthrough in their specific field which makes this proposal inherently a relatively high risk/very high gain proposal. I therefore strongly believe that this research program will open a whole new window of opportunities for electrospun materials with a large impact on science and society."

Field of science

  • /natural sciences/earth and related environmental sciences/atmospheric sciences/meteorology/atmospheric pressure
  • /medical and health sciences/medical biotechnology/tissue engineering

Call for proposal

ERC-2013-StG
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

ERC-SG - ERC Starting Grant

Host institution

UNIVERSITEIT GENT
Address
Sint Pietersnieuwstraat 25
9000 Gent
Belgium
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 1 391 100
Principal investigator
Nathalie Marie-Thérèse De Geyter (Dr.)
Administrative Contact
Nathalie Vandepitte (Ms.)

Beneficiaries (1)

UNIVERSITEIT GENT
Belgium
EU contribution
€ 1 391 100
Address
Sint Pietersnieuwstraat 25
9000 Gent
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Principal investigator
Nathalie Marie-Thérèse De Geyter (Dr.)
Administrative Contact
Nathalie Vandepitte (Ms.)