Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems

Printing Technology

The Printing Technology group is led by Patrick Gane. The group focuses on developing printed microfluidic devices using functionalised coating pigments, binders and hydrophobic inks, printing nano and microscale patterns for analyte control and light interactive devices. Rheological properties of complex micro and nanoparticulate suspension systems forms a key competence.
Group photo

Research Strategy

The research group is active in developing highly porous functional coatings to meet growing technology challenges in which liquid-surface interactions drive analytical tools, diagnostics, pharmaceutical analysis and security features. Designing the rheological and particle interaction properties of complex suspensions provides the backdrop to the research strategy, additionally providing the opportunity for a multidisciplinary role within the department’s Bioproducts and biosystems research activities.

Highly Porous Custom Coatings

We develop highly porous coatings utilising a functionalised calcium carbonate pigment (FCC). The coatings can be customised by using pigments with different specific surface areas and particle sizes, together with charge modifiers and binders, such as microfibrillated cellulose (MFC). Our research topics include studying the wicking speed of liquids in contact with porous coating media, and the use of custom surface treatments to generate a platform for chromatographic separation to provide material separation and reactive microfluidic analytical devices.

SEM image of FCC pigment

Functionalised pigment coatings

The FCC pigment has a bimodal pore size distribution, which enables fast absorption by high capillarity in intra-particle pores and high permeability through inter-particle voids.

Testing of inkjet printed patterns

New applications

New applications for functionalised calcium carbonate (FCC) based coatings include microfluidic devices such as paper-based reaction assays and enzymatic assays as well as medical diagnosis, environmental monitoring and laboratory research tools.

Wicking of Amaranth on coated FCC channel

Wicking speed and chromatographic separation of components

We have developed methods to test the wicking speed and chromatographic properties of the coated samples. For example, this video shows the separation of water and the anionic amaranth colorant on slightly cationic FCC coating in a horizontal test set-up (12x speed).

Functional Inkjet Printing

We investigate inkjet printing as a method to functionalise porous materials to produce analytical platforms. Custom inks are being developed to modify localised pore surface chemistries to control flow of aqueous liquids (by selective hydrophobisation) or concentrate/separate ionic molecules (by surface charge modification). As part of the research, methodologies to evaluate the ink/substrate interaction and effect of functionalisation are also being developed.

Inkjet printing

Fabrication of hydrophobic patterns

Test patterns are fabricated by printing hydrophobic inks on porous substrates with a DMP-2831 inkjet printer.

Reaction arrays

Inkjet printed reaction arrays

The hydrophobising agent amount needed to form a waterproof barrier depends on the properties of the coatings. The effectivity of the barrier can be controlled by varying the hydrophobising agent, drop spacing and number of ink layers.

Chancing the charge of the coating

Changing the charge of the coating by inkjet printing

Inkjet printing can be used to effect the desired transfer and separation of compounds in the coatings by changing the charge of the coating regionally. For example, this video shows the concentration of anionic tartrazine colourant (yellow) from wicking aqueous solution on printed cationic polyelectrolyte regions.

 

Rheologically induced material interactions

The ability to induce designed inter-species adsorption of particulate material within a gel suspension using controlled rheological conditions is a breakthrough technology centred on the emerging application of micro and nanocellulose in nanofunctional devices and processes. The adsorption of nanoparticles onto nanofibrils of cellulose whilst maintaining a gel-like condition is a discovery of particular significance in a wide range of applications, both in medical and analytical research, and in industry.  One such potential application is the analysis of nanoparticles in suspension using gellant microfluidic devices, including a potential solution to the challenge of dewatering nanomaterials.

Free particle mix of fibrillated cellulose and nanoparticles

Free particle mix of fibrillated cellulose and nanoparticles

Rheologically-induced adsorption of nanoparticles onto micro nanofibrillated cellulose (MNFC)

Rheologically-induced adsorption of nanoparticles onto micro nanofibrillated cellulose (MNFC)

Latest publications

Printing Technology, Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems
Publishing year: 2019 IIE TRANSACTIONS
Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems, Printing Technology, Bio-based Colloids and Materials, Bio-based Materials
Publishing year: 2019 Cellulose
Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems, Printing Technology, Bio-based Materials, Biorefineries
Publishing year: 2019 Materials Science and Engineering B: Solid-State Materials for Advanced Technology
Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems, Printing Technology
Publishing year: 2019 ACS Nano
Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems, Printing Technology
Publishing year: 2019 Abstracts of papers of the American Chemical Society
Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems, Printing Technology
Publishing year: 2019 Langmuir
Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems, Printing Technology, Biorefineries
Publishing year: 2019 Applied Rheology
Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems, Bio-based Colloids and Materials, Printing Technology, Aalto University
Publishing year: 2019 Advanced Materials Interfaces
Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems, Bio-based Colloids and Materials, Printing Technology
Publishing year: 2019 Nordic Pulp and Paper Research Journal
Printing Technology, Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems, Biohybrid materials
Publishing year: 2019 Composites Part B: Engineering
More information on our research in the Research database.
Research database

Research group members

Roger Bollström

Roger Bollström

Printing Technology
Docent
Katarina Dimic-Misic

Katarina Dimic-Misic

Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems
Postdoctoral Researcher

Patrick Gane

Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems
Professor

Risto Koivunen

Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems
Doctoral Candidate

Monireh Imani

Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems
Visiting Doctoral Candidate
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