Seminar of Prof. Maurice Collins – “An Overview of Naturally derived polymers for Medical and Fibre applications” – Seminar Room at 1:00 pm

Maurice N Collins
Stokes Laboratories, Bernal Institute, University of Limerick

The first part of the talk deals with the hyaluronic acid biopolymer. Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a glycosaminoglycan that is found in extracellular tissue in many parts of the body. It is a material of increasing importance to biomaterials science and is finding applications in diverse areas ranging from tissue culture scaffolds to immunomodulation. This presentation presents some of our work on hyaluronic acid (HA) and its hydrogel properties. Chemical modifications and processing methods employed to produce HA-modified materials are discussed, thus giving a better understanding of the structure-function-property relationships that influence gelation, mechanical stability and degradation. The importance of HA in combating immune related diseases such as type 1 diabetes, cancer, and autoimmunity will be highlighted, thereby enabling the realisation of emerging therapies such as vaccine delivery, immunotherapy, cell encapsulation and transplantation. The second part of the talk will focus on the presenters recently awarded H2020 LIBRE project which deals with the production of sustainable precursor materials for carbon fibre based on lignin blends with biopolymers. Some initial results from extrusion and spinning trials will be presented. Novel ideas around CF production, surface treatment and morphology will be discussed