The main research area of the Microstructure and Mechanics of Biomaterials (MMB) group is multiscale structure and mechanics of plants. We pay particular attention on fruit and vegetables due to their agricultural and nutritional importance. Our research focuses on plant cell wall polysaccharides and arabinogalactan proteins (AGP), their assembly and function in cell walls, and properties in solution. Our research approach bases on novel and classical methods, including wide range of modelling (FEM, DEM, DFT, MD, DPD) and experimental (AFM, CSLM, immunolabeling, image analysis, rheology, chromatography, FTIR and Raman spectroscopy, light scattering, rheological and mechanical testing) techniques.
We study also the structure and functionality of cel wall polysaccharides like pectins, hemicellulose and cellulose in order to utilize them for food and non-food applications. We extract the polysaccharides from fruit and vegetables, other plants, waste or microorganisms.
Our research aims to ensure high quality fruit and vegetables, valorization of waste/by products, and obtaining new bio-based products for both food and non-food applications.
Our research relies on a combination of tools such as:
- Microscopy (AFM, CSM)
- Image analysis
- Mechanical testing (AFM, micro- and macro-mechanical testing)
- Spectroscopy (Raman, FTIR)
- Modelling (FEM, DEM, QM-DFT, MD)