The first electrospun eardrum

The first electrospun eardrum

Electrospinning innovation opens the door to the future

Linari Nanotech srl, a private partner in the European 4NanoEarDrum project involving the National Inter-University Consortium for Materials Science and Technology, the Universities of Maastricht, Istanbul Arel and the Technical University of Dresden, is a pioneer in the creation of the first electrospun gable.

Linari Nanotech srl guides us through the extraordinary process which, in the near future, is destined to become commonplace within the polymer industry. Through this method we are finally able to create a 'scaffold' capable of faithfully reproducing a complex and ribbed structure such as that of the human eardrum. The membrane is formed by grafting human stem cells onto the polymer. Over time, the polymer dissolves, leaving the membrane in place, ready to be implanted.

Electrospinning is increasingly becoming a certainty and, as time goes by, it becomes clearer every day that we are witnessing the birth of the foundations on which the future of science will rest. We are not talking about 3D printing technology, but rather a process that will make it possible to obtain extremely small polymer filaments (we are talking about nanometres), to give an idea of the actual size we are referring to filaments that are a hundred times thinner than a hair.

Linari Nanotech, founded in Pisa in 2003 as a subsidiary of Linari Engineering, is a world leader in the creation of electrospinning systems, cited in dozens of scientific publications. It collaborates with pharmaceutical industries and some of the best research centres in the world.

At the helm of the company is its founder, engineer Stefano Linari, who graduated from Pisa with a degree in Nuclear Engineering. An eclectic personality and a recidivist founder (as demonstrated by the other companies he has led: Alleantia, iProd and Linari Medical) with the merit of having been able to combine skills and knowledge from the world of research with that of private companies. Mr Linari's curriculum vitae includes experience as a researcher at CERN in Geneva and Fermilab in Chicago, where he was one of the scientists awarded the Nobel Prize for physics for the discovery of the Higgs Boson.

The idea on which Linari Nanotech is based, which has now become a proven process, is already on the launching pad and is about to expand on an industrial scale: in September,the first European 'nanofactory'capable of producing nanofibre components and scaffolds on an industrial scale will open in Turin, in the Comau plant (with which a technical collaboration is being outlined). The innovation process we are witnessing is proceeding at a rapid pace, a speed that is breaking the sound barrier.

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