We research the interactions between proteins and polysaccharides and thus develop materials combining these components.

Proteins, natural and renewable biomolecules, perform a vast number of functions that show great potential in various challenging applications. We study the functional properties of proteins in molecular and surface interactions, crosslinking, foaming, adsorption and separation processes. Specific areas of interest include the interactions between proteins and polysaccharides and materials combining these components. Through this work, we are aiming to improve the formability of cellulose-based materials, create antibiofouling surfaces and other functional biointerfaces relevant to the medical, biotechnological and food fields.

Selected References:

1) Khakalo A., Filpponen I., Rojas O.J., Protein-mediated interfacial adhesion in composites of cellulose nanofibrils and polylactide: Enhanced toughness towards material development, Composites Science and Technology2018, 160, 145-151. 

2) Khakalo A., Filpponen I., Rojas O.J., Protein adsorption tailors the surface energies and compatibility between polylactide and cellulose nanofibrils, Biomacromolecules2017, 18, 1426-1433.

3) Khakalo A., Filpponen I., Johansson L.-S., Vishtal A., Arcot L.R., Rojas O.J., Laine J., Using gelatin protein to facilitate paper thermoformability, Reactive & Functional Polymers2014, 85, 175-184.