3D printing of adsorptive media:
In this research we aim to create adsorptive porous media using 3D printing technologies. Current adsorptive media present irregular pores and random interconnections, resulting in product variability and sub-optimal performance. Fine control of the packing geometry is achieved using 3D printing. This idea is currently employed to generate porous media for chromatographic applications, but the same approach could be used in a range of industries in the chemical engineering arena.
Novel chromatographic stationary phases for bio-separations:
I am interested in alternative chromatographic stationary phases for the purification of large biomolecules. These chromatographic media are necessary to overcome cost and performance limitations of actual bead based resins. Channelled-Capillary Polymeric fibres are currently considered, a packing constituted of fibres collinearly entangled to give micron-sized parallel tube-like channels. These structures allow for very efficient fluid flow and low backpressure.
Wet-resistant bio-inspired adhesives:
Wet resistant adhesives have direct implications in biomedical applications. This project finds inspiration from NZ native seaweed to develop underwater adhesive. The present research activities focus on the chemical, structural and mechanical characterization of the adhesive secreted by one of the strongest seaweed in the word, Durvillaea antarctica, and its weaker “sister”, Hormosira banksii.