Institute of Fundamental Technological Research
Polish Academy of Sciences

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Eyal Zussman

Technion-Israel Institute of Technology (IL)

Recent publications
1.  De Sio L., Ding B., Focsan M., Kogermann K., Pascoal-Faria P., Petronella F., Mitchell G., Zussman E., Pierini F., Personalized reusable face masks with smart nano‐assisted destruction of pathogens for COVID‐19: a visionary road, Chemistry - A European Journal, ISSN: 0947-6539, DOI: 10.1002/chem.202004875, Vol.27, pp.1-20, 2021

Abstract:
The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‐19) emergency has demonstrated that the utilization of face masks plays a critical role in limiting the outbreaks. Healthcare professionals utilize masks all day long without replacing them very frequently, thus representing a source of cross‐infection for patients and themselves. Nanotechnology is a powerful tool with the capability to produce nanomaterials with unique physicochemical and anti‐pathogen properties. Here, we outline how to realize non‐disposable and highly comfortable respirators with light‐triggered self‐disinfection ability by bridging bioactive nanofiber properties and stimuli‐responsive nanomaterials. The visionary road highlighted in this Concept is based on the possibility to develop a new generation of masks based on multifunctional membranes where the presence of nanoclusters and plasmonic nanoparticles arranged in a hierarchical structure enables the realization of a chemically‐driven and on‐demand anti‐pathogen activities. Multilayer electrospun membranes have the ability to dissipate humidity present within the mask, enhancing the wearability and usability. The photo‐thermal disinfected membrane is the core of these 3D printed and reusable masks with moisture pump capability. Personalized face masks with smart nano‐assisted destruction of pathogens will bring enormous advantages to the entire global community, especially for front‐line personnel, and will open up great opportunities for innovative medical applications.

Keywords:
face masks, light-responsive nanomaterials, anti-pathogen, electrospinning, digitally personalized

Affiliations:
De Sio L. - Sapienza University of Rome (IT)
Ding B. - Donghua University (CN)
Focsan M. - other affiliation
Kogermann K. - other affiliation
Pascoal-Faria P. - other affiliation
Petronella F. - other affiliation
Mitchell G. - other affiliation
Zussman E. - Technion-Israel Institute of Technology (IL)
Pierini F. - IPPT PAN
2.  Ura D.P., Rosell-Llompart J., Zaszczyńska A., Vasilyev G., Gradys A., Szewczyk P.K., Knapczyk-Korczak J., Avrahami R., Šišková A.O., Arinstein A., Sajkiewicz P., Zussman E., Stachewicz U., The role of electrical polarity in electrospinning and on the mechanical and structural properties of as-spun fibers, Materials, ISSN: 1996-1944, DOI: 10.3390/ma13184169, Vol.13, No.18, pp.4169-1-18, 2020

Abstract:
Electric field strength and polarity in electrospinning processes and their effect on process dynamics and the physical properties of as-spun fibers is studied. Using a solution of the neutral polymer such as poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) we explored the electrospun jet motion issued from a Taylor cone. We focused on the straight jet section up to the incipient stage of the bending instability and on the radius of the disk of the fibers deposited on the collecting electrode. A new correlation formula using dimensionless parameters was found, characterizing the effect of the electric field on the length of the straight jet, L˜E~E˜0.55. This correlation was found to be valid when the spinneret was either negatively or positively charged and the electrode grounded. The fiber deposition radius was found to be independent of the electric field strength and polarity. When the spinneret was negatively charged, L˜E was longer, the as-spun fibers were wider. The positively charged setup resulted in fibers with enhanced mechanical properties and higher crystallinity. This work demonstrates that often-overlooked electrical polarity and field strength parameters influence the dynamics of fiber electrospinning, which is crucial for designing polymer fiber properties and optimizing their collection.

Keywords:
fibers, electrical polarity, charges, electrospinning, PMMA, mechanical properties

Affiliations:
Ura D.P. - AGH University of Science and Technology (PL)
Rosell-Llompart J. - other affiliation
Zaszczyńska A. - IPPT PAN
Vasilyev G. - Technion-Israel Institute of Technology (IL)
Gradys A. - IPPT PAN
Szewczyk P.K. - other affiliation
Knapczyk-Korczak J. - other affiliation
Avrahami R. - other affiliation
Šišková A.O. - other affiliation
Arinstein A. - Technion-Israel Institute of Technology (IL)
Sajkiewicz P. - IPPT PAN
Zussman E. - Technion-Israel Institute of Technology (IL)
Stachewicz U. - AGH University of Science and Technology (PL)
3.  Boas M., Gradys A., Vasilyev G., Burman M., Zussman E., Electrospinning polyelectrolyte complexes: pHresponsive fibers, SOFT MATTER, ISSN: 1744-683X, DOI: 10.1039/c4sm02618g, Vol.11, pp.1739-1747, 2015

Abstract:
Fibers were electrospun from a solution comprised of oppositely charged polyelectrolytes, in efforts to achieve highly confined macromolecular packaging. A stoichiometric ratio of poly(allylamine hydrochloride) and poly(acrylic acid) solution was mixed in an ethanol–water co-solvent. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) analysis of electrospun fibers demonstrated no indication of glass transition, Tg. Infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) analysis of the fibers as a function of temperature, demonstrated an amidation process at lower temperature compared to cast film. Polarized FTIR indicated a preference of the functional groups to be perpendicular to the fiber axis. These results imply formation of mixed phase fibers with enhanced conditions for intermolecular interactions, due to the highly aligned and confined assembly of the macromolecules. The tunable intermolecular interactions between the functional groups of the polyelectrolytes, impact pH-driven, reversible swelling–deswelling of the fibers. The degree of ionization of PAA at pH 5.5 and pH 1.8 varied from 85% to 18%, correspondingly, causing transformation of ionic interactions to hydrogen bonding between the functional groups. The chemical change led to a massive water diffusion of 500% by weight and to a marked increase of 400% in fiber diameter, at a rate of 0.50 μm s−1. These results allow for manipulation and tailoring of key fiber properties for tissue engineering, membranes, and artificial muscle applications.

Keywords:
polyelectrolytes, electrospinning, pH responsive fibers

Affiliations:
Boas M. - Technion-Israel Institute of Technology (IL)
Gradys A. - IPPT PAN
Vasilyev G. - Technion-Israel Institute of Technology (IL)
Burman M. - Technion-Israel Institute of Technology (IL)
Zussman E. - Technion-Israel Institute of Technology (IL)
4.  Alhazov D., Gradys A., Sajkiewicz P., Arinstein A., Zussman E., Thermo-mechanical behavior of electrospun thermoplastic polyurethane nanofibers, EUROPEAN POLYMER JOURNAL, ISSN: 0014-3057, DOI: 10.1016/j.eurpolymj.2013.09.028, Vol.49, pp.3851-3856, 2013

Abstract:
Analysis of the thermo-mechanical behavior of electrospun thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) block co-polymer nanofibers (glass transition temperature ∼−50°C) is presented. Upon heating, nanofibers began to massively contract, at ∼70°C, whereas TPU cast films started to expand. Radial wide-angle X-ray scattering (WAXS) profiles of the nanofibers and the films showed no diffraction peaks related to crystals, whereas their amorphous halo had an asymmetric shape, which can be approximated by two components, associated with hard and soft segments. During heating, noticeable changes in the contribution of these components were only observed in nanofibers. These changes, which were accompanied with an endothermic DSC peak, coinciding with the start of the nanofibers contraction, can be attributed to relaxation of an oriented stretched amorphous phase created during electrospinning. Such structure relaxation becomes possible when a portion of the hard segment clusters, forming an effective physical network, is destroyed upon heating.

Keywords:
Block-copolymer, Electrospinning, Nanofibers, Thermo-mechanical properties

Affiliations:
Alhazov D. - Technion-Israel Institute of Technology (IL)
Gradys A. - IPPT PAN
Sajkiewicz P. - IPPT PAN
Arinstein A. - Technion-Israel Institute of Technology (IL)
Zussman E. - Technion-Israel Institute of Technology (IL)

Conference abstracts
1.  Alhazov D., Gradys A., Denis P., Sajkiewicz P., Arinstein A., Zussman E., Thermo-mechanical behavior of electrospun thermoplastic polyurethane nanofibers, EPF2013, European Polymer Congress, 2013-06-16/06-21, Pisa (IT), pp.O2-23, 2013

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