Supramolecular assemblies of lignin into nano- and microparticles

Mariko Ago, Blaise L. Tardy, Ling Wang, Jiaqi Guo, Alexey Khakalo, Orlando J. Rojas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

71 Citations (Scopus)


Among the most abundant biopolymers in the biosphere, lignin represents an untapped opportunity to create novel bioproducts. In this article, we discuss possibilities to synthesize nano- and microparticles by harnessing lignin's inherent tendency to associate and to develop new material compositions and functions by controlling its capacity to assemble into supramolecular structures. Because lignin is biodegradable, antimicrobial, antioxidative, and carbon neutral, inexpensive industrial lignin streams could generate value-added particulate materials that preserve the structure, composition, and colloidal features inherent to this macromolecule. We present available routes for synthesis or isolation of lignin particles, including antisolvent and aerosol processing. Metallic and polymeric lignin particle hybrids for magnetic, antibacterial, catalytic, photonic, and other applications are also discussed. Overall, the facile formation of nano- and microparticles from lignins is expected to open new pathways toward future material development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-378
Number of pages8
JournalMRS Bulletin
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • colloid
  • nanoscale
  • nanostructure
  • organic
  • polymer
  • surface chemistry


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