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Francisco Vilaplana

Francisco Vilaplana

Research area:

I am a multidisciplinary scientist with experience in carbohydrate biotechnology, bioanalytical chemistry, and polymer/materials sciences. My current research interests focus on the biotechnological exploitation of carbohydrates from biomass for applications as bio-based materials and improved nutrition. The area of specialty of my research lays on understanding the complex molecular structure of plant and fungal polysaccharides. We integrate bioanalytical glycomic approaches (involving chemo-enzymatic fractionation, advanced chromatography, mass spectrometry, and statistics/bioinformatics) with supramolecular analyses to correlate structure with macroscopic properties (e.g. digestibility, solubility, aggregation, rheological and mechanical properties). This fundamental structural information is exploited to develop sustainable processes for the valorization of lignocellulosic biomass combining selective enzymatic treatments and hydrothermal processes.