Aji Mathew

Aji Mathew


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Arbetar vid Institutionen för material- och miljökemi
Telefon 08-16 12 56
Besöksadress Svante Arrhenius väg 16 C
Rum C432
Postadress Institutionen för material- och miljökemi 106 91 Stockholm

Om mig

I hold a PhD in Polymer chemistry (2001) from Mahatma Gandhi University, India on the topic of Interpenetrating Polymer Networks based on Naural Rubber and Polystyrene. After PhD  I carried out postdoctoral  research at CERMAV, Universitet Joseph Fourier, Grenoble, France and  Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU),  Trondheim, Norway working  on  the processing and characterisation of nanocellulose  and its nanocomposites. I started my academic career as  Assistant Professor, in 2007   at  Luleå  University of Science and Technology, Luleå, Sweden and was appionted as Associate Professor in 2011 with focus on biobased nanocomposites. I took up the Associate Professor position at the Department of Materials and Environmental  Chemistry, Stockholm University in 2015 and  was promoted to full professor in  Feb 2017 with focus on Biobased functional materials.  My current research have a strong focus on designing materials in the nanoscale  for   a sustainable society.


2. Research (10-30 words)

Materials for environment

  • Fully biobased membranes/ filters for water purification
  • Surface chemistry and interactions, mechanical properties, viscoelastic properties, in situ SAXS
  • Atomic force microscopy (understanding properties at nano scale, colloidal probe)

Materials for  health

  • Biobased materials for medical applications
  • Tissue engineering, wound dressing, antifouling and antibacterial materials 

Synthesis and processing  methods for sustainable  materials

  • Nanocellulose and nanochitin isolation and characterization
  • Designing of recycling and circularity of materials 
  • Processing and characterisation of bionanocomposites, hybrids and crosslinked polymers

On-going projects

Catalytic fractionation of forest residues and recycled textiles to generate materials and chemicals ) Mistra Safechem, 2020-2024 

The research programme Safe and Efficient Chemistry by Design (SafeChem) aims to improve the ability of industry to reduce hazardous chemical exposure to the human population and the environment through implementation of the toolbox system developed within the programme. Circularity of materials and extension of the value chain of produced goods is an area of utmost relevance in green and sustainable industries and society. This task will focus on recycling and conversion of cottonbased textiles, and fractionation and conversion of low valued lignocellulosic feedstocks such as tops, roots and branches from forestry into chemicals, nanocellulose and renewable products produced from these materials . The project will interact with, and contribute to, industries along the value chain including e.g. the textile industry, forest industry, and the biofuel and chemical industry.

3D printing of biobased filters functionalised with nanocellulose for water purification Wallenberg Wood Science Centre Funding, Functional Materials Research at Stockholm University, 2019-2022 (

The overall project aims to develop new routes to process and produce filters by melt-based 3D printing. The active part in the filters will be based on nanocomposites having nanocellulose as a component. to elucidate how the  porosity and surface chemistry can be tailored to provide high water flux, high separation efficiency, and long-term stability in wet environment. 

Understanding nanocellulose hybrid membranes by means of advanced atomic force microscopy (AFM), Raman/NMR spectroscopy, X-ray scattering and computational chemistry methodologies, Swedish Research Council (2018-2021)

The project develops experimental procedures to probe biobased hybrids in liquid medium/ wet conditions using atomic force microscopy and spectroscopy and in situ X-ray scattering , combined with computational chemistry is envisioned in the project to evaluate and predict the self-assembling between nanocellulose and other nanoparticles and understand how the self-assembled morphologies drive the pore structure formation and adsorption in biobased membarnes and filters used  for water purification.

Mistra, Smart Materials, TERRACLEAN, 2017-2021

With a vision to address global sustainability challenges, the Mistra TerraClean program will use naturally occurring and commercially important raw materials indigenous to Sweden, such as (nano)cellulose and mesoporous inorganic materials invented and developed in Sweden, to develop smart materials for removal of chemical wastes and pollutants from ambient water and air in the environment and industrial effluents. 

H2020 ,NanoTextsurf, 2017-2020.

The NanoTextSurf project, a 3-year project launched in November 2017, focuses on manufacturing technologies of the nanotextued surfaces  for membarnes,  textiles, abrasion materials and friction materials with nano-scaled materials as nanocellulose . The goal is to upgrade and optimize existing pilot lines, and use them to demonstrate  the scalability of novel nanotextured surfaces.

Biobased scaffolds, membranes and hydrogels for imporved wound healing and bone regeneration (Bioheal) Swedish Research Links, International collaboration: 2017-2020

The aim of the project is to establish a fruitful collaboration and exchange of knowledge/expertise between Swedish and Indian material scientists and medical team to develop polymer based bioglass scaffold, cellulose nanocomposite membranes and hydrogels for wound and dental care and also joint supervision of a PhD students and master students.

Earlier fundings 

Project Co-ordinator: FP7-NMP-2011-SMALL-5, Proposal reference number: 280519-2 2011, Budget: 4M €uros, Co-ordinator, 2012-2016

Principal Investigator: Wallenberg Wood Science Centre Funding, Functional Materials Research at Stockholm University, 2015-2019 ; Stockholm University Faculty support, 2015- 2019  ; VR  2013, 2014- 2017.; Swedish research links, International collaborative research grants, South Africa, 2009-2011, Swedish research links, International collaborative research grants,  India; 2009-2011, Nanomembran för rening av gaser och vätskor, Innovationsbron, (2009) 

Partner: CEREAL (ERANET-SUSFOOD, 2014- 2017; n-POSSCOG , no: 2011-02071
 MNT-ERA.NET Transnational Call 2011.


I urval från Stockholms universitets publikationsdatabas
  • Artikel CelloMOF
    2019. Sahar Sultan (et al.). Advanced Functional Materials 29 (2)

    3D printing is recognized as a powerful tool to develop complex geometries for a variety of materials including nanocellulose. Herein, a one-pot synthesis of 3D printable hydrogel ink containing zeolitic imidazolate frameworks (ZIF-8) anchored on anionic 2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidine-1-oxylradical-mediated oxidized cellulose nanofibers (TOCNF) is presented. The synthesis approach of ZIF-8@TOCNF (CelloZIF8) hybrid inks is simple, fast (approximate to 30 min), environmentally friendly, takes place at room temperature, and allows easy encapsulation of guest molecules such as curcumin. Shear thinning properties of the hybrid hydrogel inks facilitate the 3D printing of porous scaffolds with excellent shape fidelity. The scaffolds show pH controlled curcumin release. The synthesis route offers a general approach for metal-organic frameworks (MOF) processing and is successfully applied to other types of MOFs such as MIL-100 (Fe) and other guest molecules as methylene blue. This study may open new venues for MOFs processing and its large-scale applications.

  • 2019. Peng Liu, Chuantao Zhu, Aji P. Mathew. Journal of Hazardous Materials 371, 484-493

    Ultrathin graphene oxide (GO) layer was fabricated on cellulose nanofiber (CNF) membrane to achieve robust crosslinker free layered membrane with synergistic water flux and separation performance. Unlike pristine cellulosic or GO membranes, GO-CNF hybrid membranes exhibited significantly improved mechanical stability in both dry and wet states. All membranes showed negative surface zeta potential. GO: CNF membrane (1:100) exhibited significantly high water flux (18,123 +/- 574 Lm(-2) h(-1) bar(-1)); higher than that of CNF membrane or the hydrophilic commercial reference membrane with comparable pore structure (Nylon 66, 0.2 mu m). We hypothyse that a unique surface structure of standing inserted GO nanosheets observed at low concentrations of GO contributes enormously to its ultrafast water permeability through creation of numerous water transport nanochannels. The aniosptropic layered membranes exhibited > 90% rejection of positively and negatively charged dyes through a combination of electrostatic interaction, hydrophobic interactions and molecular size exclusion. Construction of an ultrathin GO layer on CNF offers a unique and efficient way to prepare highly functional, economical and scalable water purification membranes having significant advantage with respect to flux, mechanical stability and rejection of dyes compared to isotropic membrane with GO nanosheets randomly dispersed in the cellulose nanofibrous network.

  • 2019. Luis Valencia (et al.).

    Rising sustainability demands the search of new low-market-value sources of lignocellulosic biomass as raw material for nanocellulose processing. In this paper, we accordingly propose the isolation of nanocellulose from Prosopis juliflora, an abundant but environmentally undesired tree. P. juliflora wood was powered, refined by steam explosion and bleaching, and subsequently used to isolate cellulose nanocrystals and nanofibers by means of acid hydrolysis and mechanical fibrillation. The derived nanocrystals had a rod-shaped structure with an average diameter of 20 nm and length of 150 nm, whereas the nanofibers had a diameter of 10 nm and length in micron size. Moreover, we report a simple method to isolate nanolignocellulose by using partially bleached P. juliflora as feedstock. The presence of lignin provided antioxidant and antimicrobial activity to nanocellulose, as well as hydrophobicity and increased thermal stability. The study demonstrates the successful use of P. juliflora to extract functional nanomaterials, which compensate for its environmental concern and declining market interest.

  • 2018. Luis Valencia (et al.). Journal of Materials Chemistry A 6 (34)

    This article proposes a strategy to prepare membranes that combine the network characteristics of micro/nanocellulose with grafted zwitterionic poly(cysteine methacrylate) (PCysMA) to develop fully bio-based membranes with antifouling properties. The surface characteristics of the membranes were studied, together with static adsorption of bovine serum albumin (BSA) and S. aureus for evaluating the antifouling properties of the membranes. Experimental data revealed a homogeneous modification that resulted in excellent antifouling properties with a reduction of 85% in biofilm formation and enhanced antimicrobial activity. Moreover, we introduced a novel method to determine the pore size of membranes in the wet-state and assess the antifouling performance in situ by synchrotron-based SAXS. This allowed us to observe in real-time the decrease in pore size upon adsorption of BSA during filtration, and how this phenomenon is strongly suppressed by grafting of PCysMA. The importance of this work lies in introducing a simple method to yield cellulosic membranes with superior antifouling properties, which could significantly increase their potential for water treatment applications.

Visa alla publikationer av Aji Mathew vid Stockholms universitet

Senast uppdaterad: 20 januari 2020

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