Research Topic

Fibrous Assemblies: From Synthesis and Nanostructure Characterization to Materials Development and Application

About this Research Topic

Fibrous assemblies of natural polymers have been widely studied for almost a century. Contemporary research targets encompass many different applications, including tissue engineering and artificial organs, wound dressing, drug and gene delivery, protective clothes, sensors and imaging devices, cosmetics, air filtration, and composite materials. Different fabrication methods are now available for a wide range of polymers. Furthermore, recent developments within several experimental techniques have allowed for more detailed structural characterizations of natural and synthetic fibers at the nanoscale. This in turn opens up the opportunity to address the relationship between nanostructure and material properties on a level of detail that has not been possible before. Understanding this relationship is of great importance in the design of new materials. Advances in engineering and chemistry have also enabled such structures to act as delivery vehicles for various bioactive / therapeutic molecules and cell populations, opening the way to new therapeutic avenues in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.

Understanding how a material’s nanostructure affects its properties represents a significant challenge in material science. In this Research Topic we want to welcome contributions in the area of fibrous natural biopolymers for various applications, from health to environment. Our main focus is on understanding how the fiber nanostructure may affect a material’s property, both at the single fiber level and in the fiber assembly. Fibers and fiber materials can often be fabricated in different ways, which may change their nanostructure and hence allow for structure-function tunability. There are a variety of often complementary techniques to structurally characterize fiber materials, including electron microscopy, scattering/diffraction, solid state NMR and other spectroscopy techniques. In recent years, advanced imaging techniques, involving coherent X-rays, have received significant attention. On the mechanics side, strain mapping and stress-strain tensile characterization are the classical approaches. Effective functionalization that would enable sustained and localized molecular delivery is key in modern biomedicine. In biomedical applications biodegradability, biocompatibility, pharmacokinetics, and toxicity are fundamental characteristics of any fibrous assemblies of natural polymers that also may depend on the nanostructure. In this specific application field, most of the biomaterials have to be studied by in vitro and in vivo models, before clinical transferring or commercialization.

The aim of the current Research Topic is to cover promising, recent, and novel research trends in the field of fibrous assemblies of natural polymers. Areas to be covered in this Research Topic may include, but are not limited to:

• Fabrication and nanostructure characterization of natural polymeric fibrous assemblies
• Biomaterials development and application of natural polymeric fibrous assemblies
• Functionalization strategies to enhanced bioactivity
• Drug / gene / molecular delivery applications
• Cell delivery applications
• Clinical indication specific applications


Keywords: Natural Polymeric Fibrous Assemblies, Applications, Nanostructure Characterization, Synthesis, Fabrication, Structure-Function


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Fibrous assemblies of natural polymers have been widely studied for almost a century. Contemporary research targets encompass many different applications, including tissue engineering and artificial organs, wound dressing, drug and gene delivery, protective clothes, sensors and imaging devices, cosmetics, air filtration, and composite materials. Different fabrication methods are now available for a wide range of polymers. Furthermore, recent developments within several experimental techniques have allowed for more detailed structural characterizations of natural and synthetic fibers at the nanoscale. This in turn opens up the opportunity to address the relationship between nanostructure and material properties on a level of detail that has not been possible before. Understanding this relationship is of great importance in the design of new materials. Advances in engineering and chemistry have also enabled such structures to act as delivery vehicles for various bioactive / therapeutic molecules and cell populations, opening the way to new therapeutic avenues in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.

Understanding how a material’s nanostructure affects its properties represents a significant challenge in material science. In this Research Topic we want to welcome contributions in the area of fibrous natural biopolymers for various applications, from health to environment. Our main focus is on understanding how the fiber nanostructure may affect a material’s property, both at the single fiber level and in the fiber assembly. Fibers and fiber materials can often be fabricated in different ways, which may change their nanostructure and hence allow for structure-function tunability. There are a variety of often complementary techniques to structurally characterize fiber materials, including electron microscopy, scattering/diffraction, solid state NMR and other spectroscopy techniques. In recent years, advanced imaging techniques, involving coherent X-rays, have received significant attention. On the mechanics side, strain mapping and stress-strain tensile characterization are the classical approaches. Effective functionalization that would enable sustained and localized molecular delivery is key in modern biomedicine. In biomedical applications biodegradability, biocompatibility, pharmacokinetics, and toxicity are fundamental characteristics of any fibrous assemblies of natural polymers that also may depend on the nanostructure. In this specific application field, most of the biomaterials have to be studied by in vitro and in vivo models, before clinical transferring or commercialization.

The aim of the current Research Topic is to cover promising, recent, and novel research trends in the field of fibrous assemblies of natural polymers. Areas to be covered in this Research Topic may include, but are not limited to:

• Fabrication and nanostructure characterization of natural polymeric fibrous assemblies
• Biomaterials development and application of natural polymeric fibrous assemblies
• Functionalization strategies to enhanced bioactivity
• Drug / gene / molecular delivery applications
• Cell delivery applications
• Clinical indication specific applications


Keywords: Natural Polymeric Fibrous Assemblies, Applications, Nanostructure Characterization, Synthesis, Fabrication, Structure-Function


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

12 November 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

12 November 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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