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BIONETS: Bioactive Double Network Hydrogel and Foam Composites from Lignocellulosic Building Blocks

Updated: Sep 28, 2023

The main aim of BioNets is to develop novel, bioactive double network (DN) hydrogel composites using cellulose nanomaterials together with bioactive small phenolics from wood bark through green polymerization approaches and non-covalent inter-network assembly strategies. 3D-printed scaffolds of the DN hydrogels will be tuned for different biomedical applications, including bone tissue engineering and wound healing. The DN hydrogels will also be transformed into lightweight foams with UV-shielding and antioxidant properties. These foams in wet and dry form will enable large-scale use of lignocellulosic building blocks for replacing plastics and are promising for novel applications in active coatings, optical applications and smart packaging.

Main results

  • Willow bark extracts can modify the rheological properties (increase in storage modulus) of nanocellulose hydrogels, and decrease significantly their swelling.

  • The hydrogel was successfully transformed into wet foam forming self-standing films upon drying. The bioactive properties of willow bark were preserved in the dry foam film and, moreover, the water resistance of foams was improved enabling their applicability to smart packaging.

  • We have developed a method to decrease the bubble size of wet foam and this method produces water-resistant dry fiber foams.

Publications (see also the links at the end of the page)

  • Huynh, N., Valle-Delgado, J. J., Fang, W., Arola, S., and Österberg, M. Tuning the water interactions of cellulose nanofibril hydrogels using willow bark extract, Carbohydrate Polymers, 37, 121095, 2023.

Research Project Managers

Tia Lohtander-Piispa, VTTiusGestranius

Project status

Funded by FinnCERES from January 2021 onwards.

The work was highlighted also in


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