CarboMat - The KTH Advanced Carbohydrate Materials Consortium
- A Formas Strong Research Environment
Functional nanomaterials through polysaccharide bioengineering.
CarboMat is a Strong Research Environment funded by The Swedish Research Council Formas with a projected budget of 30 MSEK over 5 years (2010-2014), including matching funding from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH).
Using enzyme technology, CarboMat's researchers will add new functionalities to sugar-based polymers, including cellulose from plants, algae or bacteria. The modified polymers are then used as nano-scale building blocks to create new carbohydrate materials with significantly improved strength and performance characteristics. Key target applications include bio-active and stimuli-responsive materials; innovative membranes for filtration, diagnostics and environmental remediation; and functional textiles and structural biocomposites.
The research program of CarboMat is truly multi-disciplinary, involving the research of four Principal Investigators at KTH in the Division of Glycoscience (School of Biotechnology) and Division of Biocomposites (School of Chemical Science and Engineering):
- Assoc. Prof. Harry Brumer (Coordinator), Division of Glycoscience, KTH School of Biotechnology
- Prof. Vincent Bulone, Division of Glycoscience, KTH School of Biotechnology
- Prof. Lars Berglund, Division of Biocomposites, KTH School of Chemical Science and Engineering
- Asst. Prof. Qi Zhou, jointly appointed at the Division of Glycoscience and Division of Biocomposites
The overall objective of the program is to harness carbohydrate enzymology, polysaccharide chemistry and biochemistry, and nanocomposite design to produce novel high-performance and environmentally sustainable materials from renewable biomass.
- Carbohydrate biotechnology, new materials concepts, nanocellulosic materials fabrication, biosynthetic polysaccharide engineering, enzyme-assisted biofunctionalization, carbohydrate-active enzyme discovery, biorefinery concepts
Funding for CarboMat directly supports the research activities of the following post-graduate and post-doctoral scientists within the Strong Research Environment. Each scientist is affiliated with a particular Research Facet in the Research Organization, with cross-disciplinary supervision by the Principal Investigators.
Research in CarboMat is organized into five research Facets, which interact to form three Vertices in the materials development framework (see Fig. 1, below).
- Research Facets
- (1) Nanocomposite Design, (2) Nano Building Blocks, (3) Polysaccharide Metabolic Engineering, (4) Chemi-enzymatic Polysaccharide Tayloring, (5) Enzyme Discovery
- Research Vertices
- Carbohydrate Biotechnology facilitates Component Production leading to Novel Materials
Please see the CarboMat News page for the latest updates on what's going on in the program!