Plant Nanomaterials and Inspiration from Nature : Water Interactions and Hierarchically Structured Hydrogels

Rubina Ajdary, Blaise L. Tardy, Bruno D. Mattos, Long Bai, Orlando J. Rojas*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview Articlepeer-review

122 Citations (Scopus)
118 Downloads (Pure)


Recent developments in the area of plant-based hydrogels are introduced, especially those derived from wood as a widely available, multiscale, and hierarchical source of nanomaterials, as well as other cell wall elements. With water being fundamental in a hydrogel, water interactions, hydration, and swelling, all critically important in designing, processing, and achieving the desired properties of sustainable and functional hydrogels, are highlighted. A plant, by itself, is a form of a hydrogel, at least at given states of development, and for this reason phenomena such as fluid transport, diffusion, capillarity, and ionic effects are examined. These aspects are highly relevant not only to plants, especially lignified tissues, but also to the porous structures produced after removal of water (foams, sponges, cryogels, xerogels, and aerogels). Thus, a useful source of critical and comprehensive information is provided regarding the synthesis of hydrogels from plant materials (and especially wood nanostructures), and about the role of water, not only for processing but for developing hydrogel properties and uses.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages31
JournalAdvanced Materials
Early online date14 Jun 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 Jun 2020
MoE publication typeA2 Review article, Literature review, Systematic review


  • biocolloids
  • biohydrogels
  • hydrogels
  • nanocelluloses
  • plants
  • porous materials
  • structuring
  • water interactions
  • wood


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