The Biomolecular Materials at Aalto University in Espoo, Finland researches on biotechnology-based approaches for materials. In this project we are working on ways to functionalize the cellulose scaffold using designed proteins. We design proteins to have a high affinity towards cellulose by including cellulose-binding modules (CBMs) in proteins. These engineered proteins are produced using recombinant DNA techniques. In the first hand we are interested to study proteins that can function as efficient adhesives when infiltrated into the porous cellulose scaffold. For creating adhesives that will bond the cellulose material efficiently, we use parts of spider-silk proteins in our proteins. We study the effect of our biologically produced proteins on the cellulose by using different types of mechanical testing. The advantage of using proteins for functionalization is that all applications can be done in water, and that the components are all-natural and can be produced using sustainable methods. The group is headed by Markus Linder and in the project also the researchers Laura Lemetti, Yin Yin, and Teemu Välisalmi are participating.
Aalto University Helsinki