ICNF 2015 - 2nd International Conference on Natural Fibers
Nanocellulose-based biocomposites for wound healing applications
Paper and Fibre Research Institute, Norway
Dr. Gary Chinga-Carrasco is the lead scientist of the Biocomposites area at PFI, Norway, with background from cell biology (cand. scient. degree) and chemical engineering (dr. ing. degree). He is also Invited Professor in the Doctorate Program in Science of Natural Resources, Universidad de La Frontera (UFRO), Temuco, Chile. Dr. Chinga-Carrasco has published 65 peer-reviewed articles, in addition to 6 book chapters and over 60 conference contributions. Presently, he is the project manager of the multidisciplinary and international NanoHeal project, working with production of ultrapure nanocellulose, characterization and application as a biomaterial for wound healing applications.
Research on the production, surface modification, characterization and novel applications of nanocellulose has been intensified during the last decade. Presently, we are capable of producing nanocelluloses from wood with defined morphology and surface chemistry. Based on a tailor-made production, nanocellulose could potentially be utilized in areas with major benefits to society, e.g. within healthcare. From a biomedical perspective, nanocellulose offers several advantages. In our recent research activities we have proven that nanocellulose is a promising material for wound dressing applications. Depending on the structural and chemical composition of the material and the cross-linking with adequate polymers and particles, micro-porous and elastic biocomposite gels can be formed. Such gels can have good mechanical strength and may be an excellent material for keeping a moist environment during wound healing. Additionally, nanocellulose gels based on oxidized nanofibrils can have pH-sensitive characteristics. Most recently we have also demonstrated that nanocellulose can be tailor-made with a morphology which is adequate for 3D bioprinting, a technique that can pave the way for novel and innovative bio-applications.