Dr. Amar K. Mohanty, Professor

Dr. Manjusri Misra
Associate Professor, School of Engineering and Department of Plant Agriculture, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario


Bio based materials and “green” nanotechnology are top of mind for Ontario Biomaterials A-Team member, Dr. Manjusri Misra of the University of Guelph. With research focused primarily on novel biobased composites and nanocomposite materials for the sustainable bio-economy, Dr. Misra’s work already benefits the biomedical, automotive, consumer products, packaging and building materials sectors.

Understanding the interface between fibres and plastics is a complex matter. Unlike polyethylene, which looks and acts the same wherever Misra manjusri photosit's made, biomaterials vary in properties and function. Misra and her team work to understand things such as how to blend components just right to make lightweight materials with desired strength and stiffness and how to make a uniform, low-cost product from biomaterials?

She's also using nanotechnology to make materials stronger, provide thermal stability, add mechanical properties, build stiffness and increase the ability to withstand impact – all of which add value to a product. For example, a very small amount of nanos, which are 50-80,000 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair, can make the plastic covering on a table scratch-resistant, an ideal characteristic. 

Dr. Misra is also very aware of the need for “green” products. WhileMisra manjusri photos many countries are moving away from using polyethylene plastic bags, some are completely banning them. Yet, there is still the need for packaging options. Her team therefore is looking at how to substitute a certain percentage of the polyethylene and polypropylene with biomaterials can degrade after use.”

Misra manjusri photosWherever possible, farmers are directly involved with Misra’s projects. In her view a bigger bio-based economy in Ontario will create more jobs, develop small businesses, increase more support for value-added agriculture. The working arrangement used by the University of Guelph, where Misra’s team works directly with farmers, manufacturers and processors is something unique and should be used by others as a model to follow.

Originally from southern India, Misra and her husband Dr. Amar Mohanty came to Guelph from Michigan State University. She maintains her international connections through current collaborations with 10 countries including India, Chile, China, UK, Sweden, Japan, the USA, Brazil, Argentina, Australia and Mexico. Misra manjusri photos

Misra is an ideal fit into the Ontario Biomaterials A-Team. She already works with many of the other researchers and believes that a team with complementary expertise brings forth better results.

The new Ontario Biomaterials “A-Team”, assembled by Ontario Agri-Food Technologies and the Ontario Centres of Excellence is a consortium of leading scientists each with unique skills, expertise and world-class equipment in the development, processing and optimization of biomaterials. They’re the best choice for developing and processing novel and customized biomaterials.

“A-Team” members are eager to work cooperatively with each other and with industry. They are all globally recognized for their scientific expertise. They understand corporate needs - including speed of service, confidentiality and respect for corporate ownership or exclusive access to intellectual property.

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