Cellulose is the most abundant polymer on the planet and is eminently renewable with estimates of 1011 – 1012 tonnes renewed annually. This fascinating material and is used widely in the paper and textiles industry as well as for biofuels and biomaterials. The unique structure of cellulose means it may be processed into a wide range of materials from soft hydrogels to very robust composites and a wide range of chemistry can be employed on its surface to modulate the materials properties significantly.
We are interested in investigates combining processing and chemical modifications to develop a range of novel materials. Particularly in exploiting cellulose’s inherent biocompatibility and beneficial properties for tissue engineering to develop modified cellulose scaffolds that are industrial applicable and derived from a sustainable source. Furthermore, we are investigating the modification of cellulose nanofibrils for particulate rheology modifiers and Pickering emulsion stabilisers that are effective at low weight percent inclusion in aqueous (and other) formulations. A combination of experimental, scattering and modelling techniques are used to help understand the behaviour of our materials.