A new class of polymers and advanced materials used for an array of applications – nanofibers, are gaining more and more prominence by the day. The market is all set to record prolific gains over the span of 2020 to 2026, currently massively driven by the demand for potential, result-driven PPE kits in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Speculations have it that typical cloth masks have the ability to restrict or block only about 50% of the virus particles, leaving people vulnerable to coronavirus infection. In this case, various researches and studies have been going on across various institutions and universities to develop technologies or masks that could provide maximum security and safety from dreaded SARS-CoV-2 infection.
A team of engineers from BYU Engineering announced introducing a new technology that can help protect against COVID-19 via traditional face masks. As per news reports, the team created a new filter by electrospinning nanofibers- fibers posing an electric charge that attracts coronavirus particles. Moreover, the filter when placed in typical face masks would restrict up to 95% to 99% virus particles, while also being easy on breathability and air circulation. This move is expected to offer lucrative growth opportunities to the overall nanofibers market, which is currently fueled by massive applications in vivid industries including the medical, pharmaceuticals, and electronics sectors.
Insights into the medical and pharmaceutical use of nanofibers
Industry experts recently put forth an assumption stating that nanofibers can help protect against unintended pregnancies and HIV-1, emerging as a perfect solution for producing contraception devices. It was in 2012 that a team from the University of Washington came up with the idea of developing a versatile platform to offer contraception and prevent HIV via the use of an electrically spun cloth with nanofibers. It was reported that these fibers can dissolve to release drugs, offering a platform for discrete, reversible, and economic protection. The idea in fact was so well acclaimed that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced providing a grant of USD 1 million to pursue the technology.
Nanofibers also help in healing wounds and injuries in joints while also looking after blood clotting. It is worth noting that across the United States, about 54 million people suffer from arthritis, which might or might not lead to joint injuries. Also, more than 1 in 4 adults with arthritis report severe joint pain or joint injury, raising demand for nanofiber solutions and bandages.
While considering bandages, it would be important to mention that wound healing in people above the age of 60 years takes relatively more time than in the younger population. In this case, the geriatric population is looking for products that could heal their clots or wounds in a reduced time span. In accordance, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, in partnership with the National University of Singapore, developed a bandage made of superhydrophobic hemostatic nanofiber composites that help blood clot faster while also easing detachment after clot shrinkage.
As per news reports, the novel innovative bandage is based on an SHP surface with immobilized carbon nanofibers which accelerate fibrin growth and convey anti-bacterial properties. Such innovations have opened growth opportunities for nanofibers in the medical and pharmaceutical realm.
The latest trend in the nanofibers market
The globe is currently witnessing the dreaded impact of COVID-19, which has to date claimed umpteen lives and left several businesses on standstill. However, the nanofibers industry has been observing huge growth over the past few months, mainly due to the product’s use in developing protective face masks to combat the spread of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Although normal cloth masks are being highly preferred across the globe by almost everyone, children are still struggling with such masks. This has indeed prompted various companies and research institutions to go nine yards for the production of face masks that are made especially for children and offer potential protection from viruses.
In one such incidence, the Korea Advanced Institute has recently developed a nano-particle face mask specially designed for pediatric use. Claimed to filter about 97% airborne particles, the AirBon mask is manufactured via an insulation block electrospinning process and is considered to be water-resistant, with no deformation in nano-membrane structure, even post 20 repeated washes.
Trends like these indicate positive growth dynamics for the nanofibers market over the foreseeable time frames.