Chapter 4Responsive Polymers for Smart Textiles

Eri Niiyama1,2, Ailifeire Fulati1,2 and Mitsuhiro Ebara1,2,3*

1International Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics (WPI-MANA), National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS), Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan

2Graduate School of Pure and Applied Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan

3Graduate School of Tokyo University of Science, Katsushika-ku, Tokyo, Japan

*Corresponding author: EBARA.Mitsuhiro@nims.go.jp

Abstract

Fibrous materials are presenting increasing significance nowadays in a variety of applications such as textiles, nonwovens, composite materials, etc. Especially, nanofibers have recently gained much prominence in biological and medical applications because of the rather large surface area and high porosity provided by their nanoscale features. Furthermore, nanofibers with “smart” or “stimuli-responsive” surfaces are of great interest for such applications as “on–off” switchable control of permeability, wettability, and/or swelling/deswelling behavior, by applying external stimuli. Because the nanofibers have an extremely larger external surface area, the meshes or mats electrospun from smart polymers display much quicker response times than the corresponding bulk materials such as hydrogels. This chapter provides a literature overview of fibrous biomaterials, particularly stimuli-responsive nanofibers, which are composed of polymers responsive to stimuli, including temperature, light, pH, or electric/magnetic ...

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