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4D printing of functional nanocellulose-PNIPAM hydrogels with potential to capture microplastics

Grant number: 21/10037-5
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): November 30, 2021
Effective date (End): March 29, 2022
Field of knowledge:Interdisciplinary Subjects
Principal Investigator:Silvia Lenyra Meirelles Campos Titotto
Grantee:Beatriz Sakamoto Arsuffi
Supervisor: Gilberto Antonio de Freitas Siqueira
Host Institution: Centro de Engenharia, Modelagem e Ciências Sociais Aplicadas (CECS). Universidade Federal do ABC (UFABC). Ministério da Educação (Brasil). Santo André , SP, Brazil
Research place: Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, Dubendorf, Switzerland  
Associated to the scholarship:21/00380-4 - Modeling of bioinspired hydrogel nanocomposite for 4D printing and removal of microplastics from water, BP.IC


Microplastic pollution has already reached the human body and the largest source of microplastic intake is drinking water. Little is known about its health consequences and the recovery techniques of these plastic particles from water are extremely limited. In this regard, this work aims to propose a bioinspired solution for this challenging problem, by merging the additive manufacturing technology with functional bio-based composites. Literature shows that nanocellulose hydrogels exhibit success in capturing microplastics from water via capillarity and based on its swelling behavior. Meanwhile, nanocellulose has been extensively investigated as a sustainable material for 4D printing, in combination with stimuli-responsive materials, mostly smart hydrogels, such as poly(N-isopropylacrylamide), PNIPAM. Thus, this work is focused on the development of a PNIPAM hydrogel incorporated with CNC/CNF as a 4D printable thermo-responsive composite with potential to capture microplastics from water. Moreover, this BEPE proposal is designed to complement the theoretical and modelling work that has been done by the 4DB - "4D Printing and Biomimetics" group, from UFABC. Therefore, this work has the potential to achieve innovative results and to bridge the gap between fundamental research and first-time applications. (AU)

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