Dr. Emily D. Cranston
Emily Cranston
Assistant Professor
Department of Chemical Engineering
1280 Main Street West,
Hamilton, ON, L8S 4L7, Canada
Driving directions and map

Office: JHE A412
Voice: +1 (905) 525 9140 extension 24369
email: ecranst@mcmaster.ca

sustainable nanocomposites, surface forces and interfacial engineering, biopolymers and thin films (primarily focused on nanocellulose materials).
Education
  • B.Sc. Chemistry with Bio-Organic Option, McGill University (2001)
  • Ph.D. Materials Chemistry, McGill University (2008)
  • Post-Doctoral Associate, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden (2008-2010)

Cranston Research Group Website


Research Interests

My research aims to design high-performance materials to replace those that are based on non-renewable resources by learning from nature and using biological components. Currently, my bio-component of choice is nanocellulose. More specifically, this work includes investigating and modifying interfacial properties between nanocomposite components and encompasses a wide range of disciplines including polymer and surface chemistry, nanotribology, and pulp and paper science.

 

Surface Engineering of Sustainable Materials Based on Nanocellulose

Cellulose is particularly promising for use in new materials because it is the most abundant natural substance on earth and has very high mechanical strength, similar to stainless steel and Kevlar. Recently, nanometer-sized particles of cellulose, in the form of cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs or NCC), have gained attention in the media because they are now being produced industrially in Canada and the US. CNCs can be manufactured from wood pulp (or other natural cellulose sources) and are being used to create novel nanomaterials such as composites, coatings, adhesives, gels and foams. Future value-added products from CNCs will include paints, cosmetics and biomedical devices and a more general goal is to replace existing non-biodegradable plastic materials with CNC-based composites



This research addresses some of the most important unresolved scientific issues regarding the design of new nanocellulose composites (and perhaps nanocomposites in general!), including:

      • Improving the compatibility between composite components
      • Thoroughly (and reproducibly) measuring the physical, chemical and mechanical properties of nanomaterials
      • Evaluating potential toxicity and biodegradability
      • Standardizing nanometrology and manufacturing processes

Selected Publications

  • Abitbol, T.; Cranston, E. D. Chapter 6: Directed-Assembly of Oriented Cellulose Nanocrystal Films in Handbook of Green Materials, Vol. 3: Self- and Directed Assembled Bionanomaterials 2014, Editor: K. Oksman, Orlando Rojas, Pia Qvintus. World Scientific, p. 79.
  • Abitbol, T.; Cranston, E. D. Chapter 4: Chiral Nematic Self-Assembly of Cellulose Nanocrystals in Suspensions and Solid Films in Handbook of Green Materials, Vol. 3: Self- and Directed Assembled Bionanomaterials 2014, Editor: K. Oksman, Orlando Rojas, Pia Qvintus. World Scientific, p.37.
  • Hu, Z., Cranston, E. D., Ng, R., & Pelton, R. Tuning Cellulose Nanocrystal Gelation with Polysaccharides and Surfactants. Langmuir 2014, 30, 2684−2692.
  • Abitbol, T., Marway, H., & Cranston, E. D. Surface modification of cellulose nanocrystals with cetyltrimethylammonium bromide. Nordic Pulp & Paper Research Journal, 2014, 29(1), 46–57.
  • Cranston, E. D. Polyelectrolyte Multilayer Films Containing Cellulose Nanocrystals, in Production and Applications of Cellulose Nanomaterials 2013. Editors: Postek, M.; Moon, R.; Rudie, A.; Bilodeau, M. TAPPI Publishing, June 2013, pp. 89-92.
  • Yang, X., Bakaic, E., Hoare, T., & Cranston, E. D. Injectable polysaccharide hydrogels reinforced with cellulose nanocrystals: morphology, rheology, degradation, and cytotoxicity. Biomacromolecules, 2013, 14(12), 4447–55.  - Highlighted in June 23, 2014 C&EN Cover Story
  • Abitbol, T.; Palermo, A.; Moran-Mirabal, J. M.; Cranston, E. D. Fluorescent Labeling and Characterization of Cellulose Nanocrystals with Varying Charge Contents. Biomacromolecules, 2013, 14 (9), 3278-3284.
  • Kan, K. H. M.; Li, J.; Wijesekera, K.; Cranston, E. D. Polymer-Grafted Cellulose Nanocrystals as pH Responsive Reversible Flocculants. Biomacromolecules, 2013, 14( 9), 3130–9. - Highlighted in Sept/Oct 2013 ACCN Chemical News
  • Kan, K. H. M.; Cranston, E. D.  Mechanical Testing of Thin Film Nanocellulose Composites Using Buckling Mechanics.  TAPPI Journal 2013, 12 (4), 9-17. - Cover art and winner of the 2013 Best Nanotechnology Article in TAPPI Journal
  • Sato, T.; Ali, M. M.; Pelton, R.; Cranston, E. D. DNA Stickers Promote Polymer Adsorption onto Cellulose. Biomacromolecules 2012, 13 (10), pp 3173-3180.
  • Álvarez, R.; Cranston, E. D.; Atkin, R.; Rutland, M. W. Suppression of Stiction by an Ionic Liquid: Nanotribology Using Colloid Probe AFM. Langmuir 2012, 28, 9967-9976.
  • Werzer, O.; Cranston, E. D.; Warr, G. G.; Atkin, R.; Rutland, M. W. Ionic liquid Nanotribology: Mica-Silica Interactions in Ethylammonium Nitrate. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 2012, 14, 5147-5152.
  • Cranston, E. D.; Eita, M.; Johansson, E.; Netrval, J.; Salajkova, M.; Arwin, H; Wågberg, L. Determination of the Young's modulus for microfibrillated cellulose thin films using buckling mechanics, Biomacromolecules 2011, 12 (4), 961-969.
  • Cranston, E. D.; Gray, D. G.; Rutland, M. W. Direct Surface Force Measurements of Polyelectrolyte Multilayer Films Containing Nanocrystalline Cellulose, Langmuir 2010, 26, (22), 17190–17197.
  • Cranston, E. D.; Gray, D. G. Model Cellulose I Surfaces; A Review. ACS Symposium Series 2009, Editor: M. Roman, 1019, 75-93.
  • Cranston, E. D.; Gray, D. G., Polyelectrolyte Multilayer Films Containing Cellulose; A Review. ACS Symposium Series 2009, Editor: M. Roman, 1019, 95-114.
  • Hasani, M.; Cranston, E. D.; Westman, G.; Gray, D. G., Cationic Surface Functionalization of Cellulose Nanocrystals, Soft Matter 2008, 4, (11), 2238-2244.
  • Cranston, E. D.; Gray, D. G., Birefringence in Spin-Coated Films Containing Cellulose Nanocrystals. Colloids and Surfaces A 2008, 325, (1-2), 44-51.
  • Cranston, E. D.; Gray, D. G., Morphological and Optical Characterization of Polyelectrolyte Multilayers Incorporating Nanocrystalline Cellulose. Biomacromolecules 2006, 7, (9), 2522-2530.
  • Cranston, E. D.; Gray, D. G., Formation of Cellulose-based Electrostatic Layer-by-layer Films in a Magnetic Field. Science and Technology of Advanced Materials 2006, 7, (4), 319-321.
  • Cranston, E.; Kawada, J.; Raymond, S.; Morin, F.; Marchessault, R.H. Co-Crystallization Model for Synthetic Biodegradable Poly(butylene adipate-co-butylene terephthalate). Biomacromolecules 2003, 4, (4), 995-999.
  • Cranston, E.; Kawada, J.; Raymond, S.; Morin, F.; Marchessault, R.H. Co-Crystallization Model for Synthetic Biodegradable Poly(butyene adipate-co-butylene terephthalate). Biomacromolecules 2003, 4, (4), 995-999.