SMP Seminar: Professor Marie Pierre Laborie, University of Freiburg, Germany

Professor Marie Pierre Laborie, of Biobased Materials, Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg, Germany, will be presenting a seminar on her research. All are welcome to attend.

Lignin/Hydroxypropyl Cellulose Multiphase Materials: a proxy for the woody cell wall morphogenesis?

Abstract: The morphogenesis of the secondary plant cell wall involves the incrustation of lignin in an helicoidal host structure composed of cellulose cholesteric mesophases coated with heteropolysaccharides.1 During the lignification process the polymerization of monolignols in this host structure has been proposed to stabilize the host structure resulting in a highly architectured secondary wood cell wall. In the late 80s Wolfgang Glasser and his coworkers investigated blends of organosolv lignin with hydroxypropyl cellulose, a lyotropic cholesteric liquid crystals and revealed enhancement effects of lignin both on the hydroxypropyl cellulose mesophase formation and on the final mechanical performance of the multiphase materials.

Recently, we have revisited this multiphase system from the lens of the polymer physics trying to answer fundamental questions. Namely, what is the effect of organosolv lignin on mesophase formation of hydroxypropyl cellulose? Upon solidification, what are the resulting blend morphologies and the corresponding mechanical properties? Does the molecular structure of lignin matter, when it comes to its effect on HPC mesophase and final performance? This talk will provide an overview of our recent observations on these multiphase lignin/ hydroxypropyl cellulose systems, proposing their value as insightful analogs for the secondary cell wall morphogenesis.

Robert Gleuwitz 1,2 , Christian Friedrich2 and Marie-Pierre Laborie 1,2 1 Chair of Forest Biomaterials, Faculty of Environment and Natural Resources, Werthmanstrasse 6, DE- 79085 Freiburg im Br. 2 Freiburg Materials Research Center, Stefan Meier Str. 21, DE- 79104 Freiburg im Br. Marie-pierre.laborie@biomat.uni-freiburg,de

Host: Dr Mike Ries (