2021 TAPPI NANO Webinar Series: Surface Interactions of Nanocellulose and Biomolecules

2021 TAPPI NANO Webinar Series: Surface Interactions of Nanocellulose and Biomolecules

Monday, October 25, 2021 to Monday, October 25, 2021

9AM - 10AM EST

Cellulose nanomaterials have been researched intensively for more than a decade. As a sustainable and recyclable material it has attracted the attention of both academia and industry. Its materials properties hold many promises towards reinforcement in composite materials and replacement of less sustainable materials such as oil-based plastics. Whether the material is suited for these purposes is dependent on the surface interactions it has with the interfacing material of liquid media. The surface properties are often chemically modified to suite application purposes. These modification often cause changes to the materials properties. The alteration of materials properties via surface modification can also be done via biological means, i.e. enzymatic catalysis, protein interactions, and physical adsorption of polysaccharides or ions. Cellulose nanomaterials have a large surface area and are thus suited to probe the fundamental aspects of surface interactions and their effects on materials properties. This leads to realizations of applicability of these materials in untraditional and conceptually novel systems and applications.

Learning outcomes:

  • Understand the importance of surface interactions in nanomaterials and their applications.
  • Understand the effects of surface interactions in overall materials properties.
  • Be motivated in using surface scientific approaches in investigation and development of advanced materials from bio-based nanomaterials.

Who should attend:

Researchers, Academia with interest in Nanotechnology

Dr. Suvi Arola

Dr. Suvi Arola is a Senior Scientist in Functional Cellulose team at the Technical Research Centre of Finland, VTT, with more than 12 years of experience in working with nanocellulose materials. She has a background in biochemistry and molecular biology but did her PhD in the field of biomaterials science receiving the degree in 2015 from Aalto University Applied Physics. The PhD dealt with the fundamentals of interfacial interactions of nanocellulose and biomolecules/biopolymers, and the effects of those interactions to materials properties.

In general, she is interested in finding new application areas where the fundamental properties of nanocellulose and polysaccharide materials could be an asset compared to conventional solutions. In order to do so, the fundamentals of materials properties need to be known. Her approach is to find solutions from nature rather than going for harsh chemistry. Nature offers extremely specific catalysts (enzymes) for complex chemistries and specific surface binders (proteins, polysaccharides) that are able to bring function or modify materials properties. By utilizing these biopolymers to modify the nanocellulose’s surface properties one can reveal fundamental aspects of the nanocellulose materials. 

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