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Group research activity

vergrößern: Group research activity since 2019

The hierarchical 3D assembly of the porous materials with similar microstructural complexity and mechanical properties to the natural materials is of great interest. However, designing such biomimetic hierarchical architectures is a great challenge due to the lack of experimental approaches to achieve the necessary control over the materials' microstructure on the multi-length scale. In recent year, we focused on  the synthesis and fabrication of various multifunctional bio-inspired hybrid aerogels developed from silk fibroin biopolymer extracted from B. Mori silkworm cocoon by inspiration from the multiscale architecture of natural materials. In our research, we are conducting application-oriented basic research to synthesize novel functional materials with hierarchical porosities and biomimetic microstructures through a synergistic combination of novel fabrication approaches of surface chemistry modification, sol-gel reaction, self-assembly, bidirectional freeze-casting, and 3D printing.

In this regard, we fabricated series of ultra-lightweight and mechanically flexible and electrically conductive aerogels with biomimetic microstructures through hybridizing the cross-linked silk fibroin biopolymer with three-dimensional (3D) silica network, (2D) graphene oxide (GO), MXene (Ti3C2) nanosheets, and 1D sepiolite nanorods. The developed bio-inspired 3D porous materials indicated excellent proven competence for several applications, namely as a highly sensitive wearable pressure sensor, anisotropic thermal energy-saving/ management materials, and highly efficient sorbent materials for water cleaning.

Our group has also developed a series of hierarchically porous, osteoconductive, anti-infective and bio-mimetic 3D scaffolds through novel chemical approaches for biocompatiblization of silk fibroin biopolymer processed by sol-gel reaction and 3D printing for scaffold mediated bone tissue engineering applications.