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Published September 2019 | Published
Journal Article Open

An Adaptable Device for Scalable Electrospinning of Low- and High-Viscosity Solutions


This paper summarizes the design and construction of an adaptable electrospinner capable of spinning fluids over a large range of viscosities. The design accommodates needless electrospinning technologies and enables researchers to explore a large range of testing parameters. Modular parts can be exchanged for alternative versions that adapt to the research question at hand. A rotating drum electrode immersed halfway into a solution bath provides the liquid film surface from which electrospinning occurs. We tested and assessed several electrode designs and their electrospinning performance at higher (< 500 poise) viscosities. Relative humidity was found to affect the onset of electrospinning of highly viscous solutions. We demonstrate robust device performance at applied voltage up to 90 kV between the electrospinning electrode and the collector. Design and fabrication aspects are discussed in practical terms, with the intent of making this device reproducible in an academic student machine shop.

Additional Information

© 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Received: 27 June 2019; Accepted: 5 August 2019; Published: 7 August 2019. Author Contributions: Conceptualization, R.J.M. and K.P.G; methodology, R.J.M.; validation, R.J.M.; formal analysis, R.J.M.; investigation, R.J.M.; resources, R.J.M. and K.P.G.; data curation, R.J.M.; writing—original draft preparation, R.J.M.; writing—review and editing, R.J.M. and K.P.G.; visualization, R.J.M.; project administration, K.P.G.; funding acquisition, K.P.G. This work was primarily funded by U.S. Department of Energy, Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), Award No. DEAR0000495. We are thankful for the workshop access and assistance provided by Daniel McCarty, chemical reagents provided by SAFCell Inc. Pasadena, and rheometer access provided by Ali Mohraz's lab at UC Irvine. We are also thankful for the thoughtful feedback and comments of two anonymous reviewers. The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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