This spring, University of British Columbia (UBC), Aalto University and VTT joined their strong expertise on bio-based materials by launching the Boreal Alliance. We are happy to share that first exchanges within the Alliance are just happening!
The Boreal Alliance aims to identify opportunities to translate bio-based materials science to sustainable innovations. One of the ways of collaboration is to exchange the knowledge between the partners through exchange of students, post-doctoral fellows and faculty members.
Doctoral candidate Rubina Ajdary and Postdoctoral researcher Joice Kaschuk from Aalto University have begun their six month UBC exchange visits enabled by the FinnCERES GoGlobal Programme.
Cellulosic substrates are being produced from nanofibrillated cellulose, and these substrates present advanced features of light manipulation compared to glass. During the research visit at UBC, Joice will search for green approaches for improving the water and moisture barrier properties of the cellulosic substrates. In addition, she will develop cellulosic membranes for energy conversion applications such as full cells. This project is a close collaboration with the Foster Advanced Materials Group.
Rubina will investigate the 3D-printing of auxetic geometries with biopolymers during her visit to UBC. A combination of the structural aspects (auxetic) and suitable material choice (bio-based materials) can lead to high-impact development in the field of biomaterials. Bio-based materials such as nanocellulose have high similarity to the extracellular matrix and benefit from their highly porous microstructure. The microstructure of nanocellulose can be loaded with drugs, hormones, and particles. This development could be applied in various applications including biomedicine.