Shaping helical electrospun filaments: A review

P. E. S. Silva, F. Vistulo de Abreu, M. H. Godinho

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


Nature abounds with helical filaments designed for specific tasks. For instance, some plants use tendrils to coil and attach to the surroundings, while Spiroplasma, a helical bacterium, moves by inverting the helical handedness along the filament axis. Therefore, developing methods to shape filaments on demand to exhibit a diversity of physical properties and shapes could be of interest to many fields, such as the textile industry, biomedicine or nanotechnology. Electrospinning is a simple and versatile technique that allows the production of micro and nanofibres with many different helical shapes. In this work, we review the different electrospinning procedures that can be used to obtain helical shapes similar to those found in natural materials. These techniques also demonstrate that the creation of helical shapes at the micro/nanoscale is not limited by the chirality of the building blocks at the molecular level, a finding which opens new horizons on filament shaping.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6678-6688
Number of pages11
JournalSoft Matter
Issue number38
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


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