Natural Polymers Research Group

Since 2019, we are under umbrella of Laboratory of Natural Materials Technology. Our goal is to promote sustainable and multipurpose use of biomass for high-value biomaterials and biochemicals and for fiber products. We strive towards creating and publishing novel and significant scientific findings and to educate students and scientists with excellent skills and creative problem-solving ability for the needs of bio-based economy.

We exploit state-of-the-art analytical methodology and fabrication technology to ensure molecular-level understanding of biorefinery processes to enable development of products to meet the future needs of the society. Examples of major research areas include: (1) Biomass fractionation and modification. Our biorefining approach aims at utilizing forest and other renewable resources as efficiently as possible, thus minimizing the amount of waste and environmental impact. (2) Biopolymers for medical applications. We explore the potential of nanocellulose, hemicelluloses, lignin, and biological active components as hydrogels and materials or active ingredient for biomedical applications, especially through 3D bioprinting.

For instance, we are focusing on the development of different bio-based resins or resin formulations for surface treatment and biomedical devices. Several crosslinking approaches have been developed to combine nanocellulose with crosslinkable hemicellulose derivatives into 3D printable materials that can find uses, e.g., as body spare parts or in cell studies.


Group leader

Professor Chunlin Xu
Laboratory of Natural Materials Technology
Johan Gadolin Process Chemistry Centre
Åbo Akademi University

+358 44 036 2088





Research topics

  • Bioproduct chemistry
  • Biopolymer modification
  • 3D printing of biopolymers
  • Bio-based resin formulation
  • Nanostructure biocomposites