Researchers at the University of Georgia have found a way to streamline the process of creating thin polymer strings, known as nanofibers. These polymers, which can be used to create plastic, rubber or fiber, are thousands of times thinner than human hair.

The new method addressed in the study, known as “magnetospinning,” is relatively simple, as opposed to more typical methods, such as electrospinning, which requires specialized training on customized equipment.

“Essentially, all you need is a magnet, a syringe and a small motor,” said Sergiy Minko, study co-author and the Georgia Power Professor of Polymers, Fibers and Textiles in UGA’s College of Family and Consumer Sciences. “This not only reduces costs, but it also makes it possible for more businesses and researchers to experiment with nanofibers without worrying too much about their budget.”

Minko and his co-author Alexander Tokarev assert that this process creates a product “just as thin and just as strong as nanofibers created through other methods.” They also believe their new method is much safer.

Read the full study, “Magnetospinning of Nano- and Microfibers,” at the Wiley Online Library.