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FibeRio developing new nanofiber technology
17
Aug '10
The University of Texas – Pan American (UTPA) has launched a start-up company that may revolutionize manufacturing. FibeRio Technology Corporation is perfecting a new technology called ForceSpinning to create the microscopic nanofibers used to produce everything from traditional textiles and personal care products to medical supplies and aerospace materials, with potential applications ranging from tissue engineering to drug delivery.

How are Nanofibers Made?
Nanofibers, which are about 1,000th smaller than the diameter of a human hair, are currently made with a process called electrospinning which uses an electrostatic charge to create the ultra-fine fibers from polymers used in common plastics.

ForceSpinning technology, a concept developed by UTPA mechanical engineering professors, Drs. Karen Lozano and Kamal Sarkar, employs centrifugal force to push materials through tiny openings to create the space-age nanofibers. A wider variety of materials, including metals and ceramics, can be used with ForceSpinning technology, making it more versatile and cost-effective than electrospinning.

FibeRio will develop and manufacture ForceSpinning machinery for commercial applications. The company is projected to generate $234 million in revenue by 2014 and create 110 jobs.

Rio South Texas Focused on Advanced Manufacturing
FibeRio is the first entrepreneurial start-up company in UTPA's Rapid Response Manufacturing Center (RRMC) incubator - which is dedicated to developing and applying emerging technologies that improve the competitiveness of manufacturing companies, while assisting entrepreneurs to form new enterprises and providing specialized workforce education.

"Rio South Texas is developing a world-class advanced manufacturing workforce and infrastructure," says Wanda Garza, Executive Officer of the North American Advanced Manufacturing Research and Education Initiative. "FibeRio is a perfect illustration of how the RRMC is impacting not only manufacturing, but our entire regional economy," Garza says.

FibeRio is researching new materials for Santana Textiles, one of the world's largest denim manufacturers, which is building a $180 million plant in Edinburg, Texas.

Rio South Texas encompasses the southernmost tip of Texas and the Northeastern part of Mexico. The region is currently the largest U.S./Mexico border region in America, the third largest market in Texas, and the 23rd largest market in the U.S. The Rio South Texas Economic Council was formed in 2008 to attract private sector investment, economic diversification and business expansions to the region.

Rio South Texas Economic Council

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