Electrospinning of Nanofibers: Reinventing the Wheel?


  • This work has been supported in part by AFOSR through the MURI (awarded to the University of Washington) and DURINT (awarded to SUNY Buffalo) programs, a Career Award from the NSF (DMR-9983893), and a research fellowship from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. Y.X. is a Camille Dreyfus Teacher Scholar (2002) and an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow (2000). We thank Jesse McCann for his critical reading and correction of this manuscript.


Electrospinning provides a simple and versatile method for generating ultrathin fibers from a rich variety of materials that include polymers, composites, and ceramics. This article presents an overview of this technique, with focus on progress achieved in the last three years. After a brief description of the setups for electrospinning, we choose to concentrate on the mechanisms and theoretical models that have been developed for electrospinning, as well as the ability to control the diameter, morphology, composition, secondary structure, and spatial alignment of electrospun nanofibers. In addition, we highlight some potential applications associated with the remarkable features of electrospun nanofibers. Our discussion is concluded with some personal perspectives on the future directions in which this wonderful technique could be pursued.