Nanofibers can be defined as fibers with diameters in the range of 100–1000 nanometer. Nanofibers is a new class of materials used for several value-added applications such as filtration, medicines, composites, and energy storage. Nanofibers can be manufactured by interfacial polymerization, antisolvent-induced polymer precipitation, melt processing, or electrostatic spinning. Carbon nanofibers are graphitized fibers formed by catalytic synthesis.
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Nanofibers are used in tissue engineering and drug delivery as well as in artificial organ components, implant materials, wound dressings, and therapeutic textile materials. Recently, researchers have discovered that nanofiber meshes can be used against the HIV-1 virus and also as a contraception. In the healing of wounds, nanofibers accumulate at the injury site and remain at that place, drawing the body’s own development factors to the injury site. Nanofibers are also used in pigments for cosmetics. They can stimulate the fabrication of cartilage in damaged joints. Numerous approaches toward this use of nanofibers are being utilized by researchers at John Hopkins University, University of Pennsylvania, and Northwestern University. Researchers are using nanofibers in sensors that modify color as they engross chemical vapors. They plan to use these sensors to demonstrate when the absorbing material in a gas mask becomes saturated. Researchers have also developed piezoelectric nanofibers that are elastic enough to be interlaced into clothing. These fibers can transform the normal motion into energy to power the electronic devices such as mobile phones. In addition, researchers are developing nanofibers to capture cancer cells flowing in the blood stream. They use nanofibers covered with antibodies that bind to cancer cells, ensnaring those cells.
Growth of bioengineering and biomedical industries across the globe is projected to boost the demand for nanofibers. Additionally, increase in demand for medicines in emerging economies in Asia Pacific and Latin America is projected to further propel the demand for nanofibers in those economies. However, volatile prices of raw materials and availability of substitutes can hamper the growth of this market.
North America is projected to be a key market for nanofibers during the forecast period, followed by Europe and Asia Pacific. Asia Pacific is anticipated to be the rapidly expanding market for nanofibers during the forecast period. China, India, and Japan are major markets for nanofibers in Asia Pacific due to presence of an established end user industry. Singapore, Republic of Korea, Vietnam, and Malaysia are expected to be other prominent consumers of nanofibers in Asia Pacific during the forecast period. The nanofibers market in Europe and North America is projected to experience moderate to high growth during the forecast period. Brazil and Argentina are estimated to be major consumers of nanofibers in Latin America.
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The nanofibers market is highly fragmented. It is dominated by large- and medium-sized corporations in the field of materials and chemicals. Key players operating in the global nanofibers market are FibeRio Technology Corporation, Toray Industries, Ahlstrom Corporation, Johns Manville Corporation, Inc., E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, Donaldson Filtration Solutions, Asahi Kasei, Johns Pyrograf Products, Inc., Elmarco, Jiangxi Xian Cai Nanofibers Technology Co., Ltd., Revolution Fibers, eSpin Nanofibers, and MemPro.
Companies are adopting the acquisition strategy and aggressive marketing tactics to increase their market share. They are investing in research and development activities to develop new techniques for nano capsules. Moreover, companies are shifting their production facilities to emerging economies in Asia Pacific and Latin America, due to easy availability of land, inexpensive labor, and governmental subsidies in those countries.