Biotemplating: Polysaccharides in materials engineering

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The generation of biominerals and hard tissue in nature is directed and templated by biomacromolecules. In many systems, polysaccharides play a significant role during the assembly of the inorganic phase. Polysaccharides exhibit a hierarchical multiscale order as well as self-assembly properties and they appear in a large variety of structures. The directed deposition of inorganic phases on polysaccharide templates is an interesting approach for the manufacturing of patterned functional materials. This paper highlights our recent developments on the bioinspired deposition and formation of inorganic phases on polysaccharide templates. Polysaccharides can be used at various structural levels from the molecular scale to three-dimensional parts in the millimetre range. The versatility of polysaccharide templating capabilities will be shown on onedimensional cellulose nanocrystals for formation of luminescent inorganic nanotubes for optoelectronic applications. The replication of complex plant tissue and processed lignocellulosic materials such as paper and cardboard into carbide based engineering and functional ceramics will be presented. The developed methods for the mineralisation of inorganic phases on polysaccharides are adapted for an innovative bioinspired route involving phototactic microorganisms, which are useful for the light-induced fabrication of hierarchically structured functional materials.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDesign and Nature V
Subtitle of host publicationComparing Design in Nature with Science and Engineering, Design and Nature 2010
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9781845644543
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • biotemplating
  • engineering ceramics
  • functional materials
  • structural ceramics


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