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Innovation Stories: Revolution Fibres

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Revolution Fibres

Blasting fish byproduct through a high-speed spinning machine with electrostatic propulsion sounds an unlikely answer to a domestic air filtration problem, but Auckland company Revolution Fibres is doing just that in its bid to transform the field of nanofibre production. Where traditional electrospinning techniques require thousands of needles to produce a decent amount of fibre, Revolution Fibres' Sonic Electrospinning Technology TM is an ingenious, needleless system capable of making fibre 1000 times thinner than human hair. The company is combining their invention with gifts from nature such as deep-water hoki and sauvignon blanc grapes.

One of the company's first commercial products is an ultra-sensitive air filter for the home. The modest-sized filter holds 30 kilometres of nanofibre that's spun from hoki collagen. Hoki collagen has unique properties because of the cold, deep water the fish calls home. One kilo of the fish byproduct could make fibre that stretches all the way to the Sun.

As for sauvignon blanc grapes, the company is exploring the grapes' high UV protection properties for use in its fibre mats. Revolution Fibres will soon have a commercial-scale loom with which they'll be able to produce hundreds of square metres of nanofibre mat in a day. These mats will have multiple uses including wound repair, cosmetic care and skin protection.

Revolution Fibres have achieved all this through much trial and error and figure that, once their nanofibre production is streamlined, they can literally make anything.

Useful link

Find out more about Revolution Fibres.

Activity idea

Read this 2008 news article about Crop & Food Research and visit the Revolution Fibres website to find the link between the two.
To find out more about nanotechnology, check out our Nanoscience context.

Listen to this RNZ audio clip to find out more about how marine collagen in hoki skin has particular properties that can be exploited for electrospinning.

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