Eye imaging technology provides opportunities in biotechnology

Optical coherence tomography can be utilized in developing the material properties of microfibrillated celluloses


Credit: University of Jyvaskyla

In her doctoral dissertation, M.Sc. Sanna Haavisto, researched the flow properties of aqueous microcellulose suspensions. Optical coherence tomography, an imaging technology commonly used in medical imaging of eye, was applied in a novel way in her study. The measurement methods developed in the doctoral thesis can also be utilized in developing the material properties of microfibrillated celluloses, e.g in textile innovations.

Microfibrillated cellulose is made by grinding cellulose fibers into a finely divided material in the micrometer range. An even finer material of microfibrillated cellulose is nanofibrillated cellulose. With various processing techniques, micro- and nanofibrillated cellulose can be made into both very hard and flexible, transparent and translucent materials.

As potential ingredients for novel bio-based materials and high-end products, micro- and nanofibrillated celluloses are considered one of the most promising materials in the bioeconomy. One of the applications awaiting a breakthrough is textile fibers, that are produced using such micro- or nanocellulosic materials. Currently, there are several textile innovations in Finland that are based on pulp and paper excellence.

In industrial scale applications, it is important that the material and flow properties of the raw material are properly understood. Aqueous suspensions of microfibrillated cellulose are very complex and, to date, especially poorly known for their flow properties. According to Sanna Haavisto, this is due to the limited availability of suitable measurement methods.

The measurement methods can also be utilized in developing the material properties of microfibrillated celluloses

Haavisto’s doctoral dissertation shows how the fine structure of microfibrillated cellulose as well as their complex flow phenomena can be observed and measured. Optical coherence tomography is well suited for studying the flow properties of microfibrillated cellulose even under conditions similar to industrial processing. According to Haavisto, the most important finding of the doctoral thesis was the link between the boundary layer behavior and the observed flow behavior.

“Flow phenomena important for processing occur in the immediate vicinity of the flow channel wall, i.e. in the boundary layer, which cannot be measured for microfibrillated cellulose with commonly used methods. The measurement methods traditionally used may even provide misleading information”, Haavisto says.

The measurement methods developed in the doctoral thesis can also be utilized in developing the material properties of microfibrillated celluloses. It is noteworthy that the method is not limited to research of microcellulosic structures but is applicable to a wide variety of materials.

Sanna Haavisto graduated in 1999 from Pieksämäki High School. Between 1999 and 2004 he received a master’s degree in Applied Physics from the Department of Physics at the University of Jyväskylä. After that, Haavisto worked for 10 years at the VTT Technical Research Center of Finland among complex fluid flows and processes related to them. The dissertation’s experimental research work has been carried out at the VTT Technical Research Center of Finland.

Since 2015, Haavisto has worked with Spinnova, a fiber technology company, where he leverages his microcellulose flow and measurement knowledge to revolutionize the fiber industry. The doctoral thesis has received funding from the Academy of Finland (Rheology of Complex Fluids and Wood Fiber Filament projects) and the EU Horizon 2020 program.


The research is published in JYU Dissertations series, 2019, 102. ISSN: 2489-9003, ISBN: 978-951-39-7805-1, 978-951-39-7805-1.

Link to publication: https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/64974

M.Sc. Sanna Haavisto defends her doctoral dissertation in Subject “Application of Doppler Optical Coherence Tomography in Velocity Profiling Rheometry of Complex Fluids” on Thursday 9th August at 12 o’clock at Department of Physics, FYS1, Ylistönrinne. Opponent is Dr. Seppo Syrjälä from Tampere University and Custos is Professor Markku Kataja from University of Jyväskylä. The doctoral dissertation is held in Finnish.

For more information:

M.Sc. Sanna Haavisto, tel. +358405287693, [email protected]

Communications officer Tanja Heikkinen, [email protected], tel. + 358 50 581 8351

The Faculty of Mathematics and Science

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