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Personal profile

Description of research and teaching

Description of research

Polysaccharides are considered to be inexhaustible and renewable resources for modern industrial application as being bioactive, biocompatible and biodegradable.  Due to ever-increasing prices of petroleum-based polymers, more interest has been directed to polysaccharide-based materials. Hemicelluloses: polysaccharides, from the agriculture and forest industry and its potential utilization as a green and environment friendly material has not been yet fully explored. 

Aerogels are diverse class of porous, solid materials with low weight and density, high surface area, and high mechanical properties. Aerogel is formed by the removal of liquid from a gel, e.g., evaporation of water from a hydrogel. The liquid phase is replaced with air using techniques that maintain the gel structure, enabling the formation of porous materials.

 

To prepare a Polysaccharide aerogel, first polysaccharides are dissolved into water to make a hydrogel and then water is removed using freeze drying; a process called sublimation, which maintains the structure of gel. The proposed research focuses on the development of novel functional materials from upgraded biopolymers: polysaccharide aerogels. The potential of polysaccharide aerogels is great due to their high water absorption capacity, safety, renewability, sustainability, and low cost. Thus new polysaccharide-based aerogels could find applications as water absorbents, providing mechanical support, biocompatible delivery systems, and encapsulation of active components, such as antioxidants.

Curriculum vitae

Current position:

Doctoral Researcher, Department of Food and Environmental Sciences, University of Helsinki (2013→)

Degrees awarded:

Master of Erasmus Mundus Food of Life (Major: Food Technology) University of Helsinki, Finland and University of Copenhagen, Denmark (2010-2012)

MSc (Hons.) Food Technology, National Institute of Food Science and Technolgoy, University of Agriculture Faisalabad, Pakistan (2008-2010)

BSc (Hons.) Agri, Major: Food Science & Technology, National Institute of Food Science and Technolgoy, University of Agriculture Faisalabad, Pakistan (2004-2008)

Fields of Science

  • 416 Food Science
  • Food Technology
  • Polysacchride aerogel

International and National Collaboration Publications and projects within past five years.

Publications 2012 2018

NOVEL FUNCTIONAL MATERIALS FROM UPGRADED BIOPOLYMERS: POLYSACCHARIDE AEROGELS

Ghafar, A., 2018, Helsinki: Helsingin yliopisto.

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisCollection of Articles

Open Access

Mesoporous guar galactomannan based biocomposite aerogels through enzymatic crosslinking

Ghafar, A., Gurikov, P., Subrahmanyam, R., Parikka, K. M., Tenkanen, T. M., Smirnova, I. & Mikkonen, K. S., 2017, In : Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing. 94, p. 93-103

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Synchrotron microtomography reveals the fine three-dimensional porosity of composite polysaccharide aerogels

Ghafar, A., Parikka, K., Haberthür, D., Tenkanen, M., Mikkonen, K. S. & Suuronen, J-P., 2017, In : Materials. 10, 8, p. 871 20 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Open Access
File

Enzyme-mediated gelation of polysaccharides yields bio-based aerogels

Ghafar, A., Parikka, K. M., Sontag-Strohm, T. S., Österberg, M., Tenkanen, T. M. & Mikkonen, K. S., 2015, (In preparation) Gums and Stabilisers for the Food Industry : Hydrocolloid functionality for affordable and sustainable global food solutions. Phillips, G. O. & Williams, P. A. (eds.). Cambridge: The Royal Society of Chemistry, (Specialists publications; no. 353).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientific

Projects 2014 2018

Prizes

Activities 2013 2016

  • 11 Organisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars
  • 2 Other
  • 2 Academic visit to other institution
  • 1 Types for other activities - External teaching and subject coordination

Teaching assistant for ET825 Food Structure Laboratory Works

Abdul Ghafar (Participant)
Dec 2016

Activity: Other activity typesOther

Teaching assistant (lab course ET455)

Abdul Ghafar (Participant)
Sep 2016Oct 2016

Activity: Other activity typesOther

International Seminar on Aerogels: synthesis, properties, applications

Abdul Ghafar (Speaker: Presenter)
22 Sep 201623 Sep 2016

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

Teaching assistant

Abdul Ghafar (Participant)
1 Mar 201631 May 2016

Activity: Other activity typesTypes for other activities - External teaching and subject coordination

18th Gums & Stabilisers for the Food Industry Conference on Hydrocolloid functionality for affordable and sustainable global food solutions

Abdul Ghafar (Speaker: Presenter)
23 Jun 201526 Jun 2015

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars