Today, the high demands on multifunctional materials request them to be highly resistant, light, have adapted electrical and thermal conductivity, and even to fulfil the function of sensing and actuation. Multifunctional materials can be used in various applications, including artificial muscles, sensors, electronic textiles and supercapacitors. Cellulose nanofibrils (CNF), which are the most abundant structural elements on Earth, are very promising bio-based building blocks for the elaboration of new multifunctional materials. As an example, the Young's modulus of macrofibres obtained by assembling NFCs can reach 80 GPa. At present, CNFs are not only able to lead to materials with excellent mechanical performance, but may also be used in various domains due to their possibility to be functionnalised, to act as a dispersing agent or a rheology modifier, to improve barrier properties of films... Consequently, they can be exploited to design high-performance materials.
In this context, the present project aims at developing new multifunctional materials, using cellulose nanofibres and wet spinning as the main process, in order to produce filaments and 2.5D structured mats/tissues. Two main application domains are targeted which are the production of biocompatible filaments for medical applications and 2.5D structured for reinforcing scaffolds or medical patches. Despite the apparent gap between the targeted applications, they are based on the same scientific approach which relies on the elaboration of alginate/CNC based filaments and structures. The major expected breakthrough is the development of composite filaments with outstanding mechanical properties (E > 10 GPa) that can be used either as filaments or 2.5D structured tissues. Particular interest will be paid to the implementation of green processes and the use of non-toxic reagents/solvents at the different stages of the elaboration of the materials.
- PI: Ramzi Khiari
- Co-PI: Davide Beneventi and Albert Magnin
- Post-doc: Ramzi Khiari
- Applied Chemistry and environment (Monastir Univ. of Sciences, Tunisia)