Domestic research projects


Research projects (co)funded by the Slovenian Research Agency.


  • Member of University of Ljubljana: UL Faculty of Mechanical Engineering
  • Project code: L2-7550
  • Project title: Elecrospun nanofibrous materials for solid state drug delivery system
  • Period: 01.03.2016 - 28.02.2019
  • Range on year: 1,45 FTE
  • Head: prof. dr. Igor Emri
  • Research activity: Engineering sciences and technologies 
  • Research Organisation: Link
  • Researchers: Link
  • Citations for bibliographic records: Link

The project addresses establishment of electrospinning needle-free technology of biocompatible bimodal polyamide 6 that will be used for manufacturing containers for Solid State Drug Delivery approach. This approach utilizes polymeric electrospun nanofibrous materials as a shell material for drug carrier containers for targeted chemotherapy of localized tumors and prolonged drug release needed in case of chronic diseases. Possibility to control drug release rate is a crucial factor of the proposed approach and can be achieved via changes of pore size distribution of the membrane and degradability rate of a polymer.

Biodegradability rate as well as its effect on pore size distribution PSD depends on chemical composition of the polymer and its structure. Patented biocompatible multimodal polyamide 6 is chosen for this project because of its outstanding biocompatibility and extremely high sensitivity to strain-rate, temperature  and  pressure variation  during  the production  process. These properties allow forming gradient structure of a solid material using injection-molding technique, as well as gradient nano-fibers manufactured with electrospinning process. In this case strain-rate of the pulling of polymer solution by electrostatic field will result in different fiber structure, which will directly influence the rate of biodegradability.

Pore size distribution (PSD) depends only on the technological process of electrospinning, which establishment is the goal of the proposed project. PSD depends on fiber diameter, and membrane thickness, which in turn are determined by parameters of manufacturing process (solution composition, air conditioning,...).

In line with this, the goal of the proposed project is to determine interrelation between fiber diameter and membrane thickness that affect pore size and pore size distribution, and electrospinning processing parameters for multimodal polyamide 6. Investigation of the solution composition, its viscosity, electrical conductivity and surface tension properties, effect of electrostatic field on the electrospinning process, quality and diameter of the formed fibers will be performed. In addition structural analysis of the fibers will be done. Materials with different pore size distributions, in order to study effect of membrane thickness and fiber diameter, will be manufactured and their pore size distribution will be measured and confirmed by the diffusion tests on model drugs.

The phases of the project and their realization:

The project is structured into two main workpackages, first of which focuses on the controlled electrospinning process and obtaining materials with the desired properties, while the second correlates the pore size distribution of the obtained electrospun materials with their permeability in respect to model drugs or nutrition with the known molecule size.

Workpackages consist of the following worktasks, which will be described in continuation:

WP1. Establishment of electrospinning procedure

WT 1.1. Preparation of solution of different concentrations

WT 1.2. Determination of electrospinning window

WT 1.3. Formation of a membrane with various pore size distributions

WP2. Correlation of pore size distribution measurements with permeability for a model drugs

WT 2.1. Preparation of model drugs

WT 2.2. Diffusion cell tests

Additional activities:

  • Establishment of the preparation of PA6 foils using method of changing phases
  • Characterization of permeability of the obtained membranes