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Professor Jose Moran-Mirabal,Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, McMaster University

Event Date: 
Monday, September 24, 2018 - 3:30pm to 4:30pm

Native and Surface-Modified Nanocellulosic Materials for 2.5D and 3D Fabrication

Cellulose is the most abundant structural polymer in nature and has been used throughout history as a source of building materials and paper products, due to the unique mechanical and chemical properties that arise from its hierarchical organization. Through research, we are learning that crystalline nanocelluloses (i.e. cellulose nanocrystals – CNCs, and nanofibrils – CNFs) not only exhibit the expected enhanced mechanical properties, but also display unique optical, electric, piezoelectric, and magnetic properties that are not found in macroscale cellulosic materials. The study of cellulosic nanomaterials is currently a highly active area of interdisciplinary and collaborative research. However, one of the most remaining challenges for the widespread use of cellulosic nanomaterials is the lack for simple routes to confer to them a wide range of surface functionalities. Our group has recently proposed a modular surface chemistry approach, based on a triazinyl linker, that allows us to tune the interfacial properties and reactivity of cellulose. The availability of tuneable reactivities opens the door for the use of nanocellulose for the bottom-up assembly of structured materials and composites through emerging techniques such as additive manufacturing and 3D printing. 

In this talk, I will describe our modular surface chemistry approach to generate functional nanocellulose and our efforts (during my sabbatical year and in collaboration with the ELiA team at LAAS-CNRS) to incorporate CNCs, native and surface modified, into 2.5 and 3D printing strategies. The successful incorporation of CNCs in the form of homogeneous dispersions or controlled aggregates will be discussed in the context of the adhesion of different cellular lines. The characterization of their response to the nanotopology introduced by the CNCs will also be described discussed. Finally, I will comment on the use of surface modifications to tune the miscibility of the CNCs into different solvents and matrices, to introduce handles for the covalent integration into 3D printing resins, and for the availability of post-fabrication modifications.


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