Taking into account the evolving challenges of the modern world, our nowadays activity is shifted more in the direction of applied research, mostly in the area of bio-medical applications of polymeric materials. This research activity is supported by the new location of our Institute, which is surrounded by other institutes of Polish Academy of Sciences, mostly related to biological sciences, being our natural partners for scientific cooperation (BioCentrum Ochota). Basing on our fundamental knowledge in the area of polymer physics, materials science, chemistry and biotechnology we are entering deeper and deeper into rapidly growing field of tissue engineering. Great part of our activity is  related to polymeric biodegradable scaffolds for tissue regeneration as well as materials for drug release. Being open for various methods of scaffolds formation, at the moment we are concentrated on the formation of scaffolds by electrospinning. The main advantage of electrospinning as a method of scaffold formation is that it allows formation of nonwovens containing nano- and submicron- fibers with the morphology mimicking the natural extracellular matrix (ECM). The morphology of electrospun materials is highly sensitive to the electrospinning conditions. We are interested in investigations of the effect of electrospinning conditions on a morphology/structure of resulting fibers and nonwovens, having in a perspective more practical aim - optimization of materials for tissue engineering applications. Determination of the general relationship “formation conditions-structure-properties” for particular material system enables further optimization of electrospinning of particular polymeric materials from the perspective of cellular response. This type of analysis we apply for various biodegradable polymers, both synthetic and/or biopolymers, as candidates for scaffolds applicable for various type of tissues, having some specific requirements. Additionally we perform electrospinning using different types of solvents, trying to develop the method which is as green as possible. This point is important not only for an operator but also for the cells being further cultivated onto scaffolds. The next point of our activity is related to the investigations of drugs delivery from nano- and sub-micron fibers. Coming to the most applicable part of our activity, we can mention our efforts toward formation of some medical products from biodegradable polymers, for instance expandable biodegradable external support device designed to mitigate causative factors for early and late graft failure. 

 

   The part of investigations related to basic problems concern at the moment the kinetics of polymer  crystallization under various conditions like non-isothermal processes or crystallization under confinements, for instance in the core part of electrospun core-shell nanofibers. In the case of non-isothermal crystallization we are focused on processes occurring at ultra-fast rates of temperature changes, reaching 106K/s, similar to polymer processing conditions. In the case of crystallization occurring in the core part of electrospun core-shell nanofibers we deal with two-dimensional geometrical confinements. In such systems, interplay of several confinement effects of various nature on both morphology and crystallization kinetics is observed. Additionally we continue our interests in the analysis of polymorphic transitions in various polymers, like isotactic polypropylene. The origin of polymorphs in polymers is often related to the kinetics of transitions and they are metastable.