Advanced Materials Laboratory, formerly known as Biophysics Laboratory, is a multi-disciplinary group investigating fundamental and applied research on advanced materials at nano and micro scale. The core objective of the division is to conduct research on advanced materials for and from leather. Leather processing is primarily associated with purification of a multi-component material, skin, to obtain a single protein, collagen. Solid co-products from the tanning industry are unavoidable. Protein-based solid wastes acquired much attention due to their high value. Although several methods have been developed for utilizing protein based wastes, development of high value products has remained a challenging issue. Our group has been actively working on the development of new and advanced materials such as biomaterials, nanomaterials and bio/nano composites especially from bio-wastes generated from leather industry for a variety of applications through greener, simpler and sustainable approaches. Derived materials from bio-wastes are demonstrated in energy, environment, biomedicine, lifestyle and electronic applications.
Natural leather does not find applications in smart or advanced products such as electronic devices, sensors, electromagnetic interference shielding (EMI) and adhesive-free wall covering applications. This is due to the fact that leather lacks certain functional properties such as electrical conductivity, magnetism, etc. Attempts are being made to impart functional properties to leather. Smart leathers with additional functionality such as electrical conductivity and magnetism have been prepared for smart product applications. Molecular interactions that drive biological processes especially at interfaces, understanding the structure, dynamics and function of biomolecules, single crystal XRD of biomolecules, solution dynamics of biomolecules, bio-toxicity of new materials and metal complexes at genetic level and new metal complex based materials for bio-imaging are some of the other research areas being addressed by the laboratory.
Some new and advanced materials developed from our group include
- magnetic nanobiocomposite using iron oxide nanoparticles,
- multifunctional self-doped carbon nano-onion materials,
- conducting nanobiocomposites
- biocompatible hybrid collagen-based scaffolds,
- flexible composite sheets,
- collagen-chitosan bi-functional biocomposite materials,
- conducting leathers,
- magnetic leathers etc.