Postdoctoral Research Award 2016
Alexander Tokarev, a former postdoctoral research associate in the department of textiles merchandising and interiors, is recognized for his role in creating a new, inexpensive way to manufacture extraordinarily thin polymer strings commonly known as nanofibers. The new method, dubbed “magnetospinning,” provides a very simple, scalable and safe means for producing large quantities of nanofibers that can be embedded in a multitude of materials, including live cells and drugs. Many thousands of times thinner than the average human hair, nanofibers are used by medical researchers to create advanced wound dressings, and for tissue regeneration, drug testing, stem cell therapies and the delivery of drugs directly to the site of infection. Nanofibers are also used in other industries to manufacture fuel cells, batteries, filters and light-emitting screens. Tokarev now works for Sawgrass Technologies, Inc. in Charleston, S.C.