Sustainable Nanocomposites and Hybrid Materials from Cellulose and Other Biopolymers
Associate Professor
UBC President’s Excellence Chair in Forest Bioproducts
Forestry 4036
McGill University, 2001, B.Sc., Honours
McGill University, 2008, Ph.D.
Research Interests
  • Designing and characterizing innovative bio-based nanocomposites and bio-inspired materials
  • Exploring the applications of cellulose nanocrystals, cellulose nanofibrils and biopolymers in novel devices and products through interdisciplinary research
  • Measuring surface forces, morphology and tribology through advanced microscopy
  • Characterizing soft matter coatings, gels and emulsions using reflectivity and adsorption techniques
  • Extending state-of-the-art nano-testing tools and analyses to investigate new phenomena
  • Ensuring knowledge translation through high-impact publications and intellectual property

Collaborative Areas:

  • Academic: Biomedicine, Biomass-Enzyme Interactions, Energy Storage, Nan-device Fabrication, Polymer Processing/Self-Assembly/Reaction Engineering, Pulp & Paper, Wastewater Treatment
  • Industrial: Chemicals, Cosmetics, Engineering Solutions, Food, Household Products, Nanocellulose Production, Oil & Gas, Particles & Coatings, Plastics, Polymer Processing, Pulp & paper

1.    Vanderfleet, O.M.; Reid, M.S.; Bras, J.; Heux, L.; Godoy-Vargas, J.; Panga, M.K.R.; Cranston, E.D.* Insight Into Thermal Stability of Cellulose Nanocrystals from New Hydrolysis Methods with Acid Blends. Cellulose 2019, (in press).

2.    Kedzior, S.A.; Zoppe, J.O.; Berry, R.M.; Cranston, E.D. Recent Advances and an Industrial Perspective of Cellulose Nanocrystal Functionalization through Polymer Grafting. Current Opinion in Solid State and Materials Science 2018, (in press).

3.    Levin, L.; Saem, S.;  Osorio, D.A.; Cerf, A.; Cranston, E.D.; Moran-Mirabal, J.M. Green Templating of Ultraporous Cross-Linked Cellulose Nanocrystal Microparticles. Chemistry of Materials 2018, 30, 8040-8051.

4.    Kedzior, S.A.; Kiriakou, M.; Niinivaara, E.; Dube, M.A.; Fraschini, C.; Berry, R. M.; Cranston, E.D.* Incorporating Cellulose Nanocrystals into the Core of Polymer Latex Particles through Polymer Grafting. ACS Macro Letters 2018, 7, 990-996.

5.    Liu, L.; Hu, Z.; Sui, X.; Guo, J.; Cranston, E.D.*; Mao, Z. Effect of Counterion Choice on the Stability of Cellulose Nanocrystal Pickering Emulsions. Ind. Eng. Chem. Res. 2018, 57, 7169−7180.

6.    LeClair, D.; Cranston, E.D.; Lichty, B.D.; Xing, Z.; Thompson, M.R. Consecutive Spray Drying to Produce Coated Dry Powder Vaccines Suitable for Oral Administration. ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering 2018, 4, 1669-1678.

7.    King, A.W.T.; Kedzior, S.A.; Laaksonen, T.; Holding, A.J.; Helminen, J.K.J.; Heikkinen, S.; Mäkelä, M.; Cranston, E.D.; Kilpeläinen, I. Liquids NMR Toolbox for the Analysis of Chemically Modified Nanocelluloses. Biomacromolecules 2018, 19, 2708-2720.

8.    Osorio, D.A.; Seifried, B.; Moquin, P.; Grandfield, K.; Cranston, E.D.* Morphology of Cross-linked Cellulose Nanocrystal Aerogels: Cryo-templating vs. Pressurized Gas Expansion Processing. Journal of Materials Science 2018,53, 9842-9860.

9.    Ouzas, A.; Ninivaara, E.; Cranston, E.D.; Dube, M.A.. Cellulose Nanocrystal Nanocomposites for Adhesive Applications via In Situ Semi Batch Emulsion Polymerization. Macromolecular Reaction Engineering 2018, 12, 1700068.

10. Klemm, D.; Cranston, E.; Fischer, F.; Gama, M.; Kedzior, S.A.; Kralisch, D.; Kramer, F.; Kondo, F.; Lindström, T.; Nietzsche, S.; Petzold-Welcke, K.; Rauchfuß, F. Nanocellulose as a Natural Source for Groundbreaking Applications in Materials Science: Today’s State, Materials Today 2018, in press.

11. 25 authors including Reid, M.S.; Cranston, E.D.; Moon, R.J.; Foster, E.J. Current Characterization Methods for Cellulose Nanomaterials, Chemical Society Reviews 2018, 47, 2609-2679.

12. Ouzas, A.; Niinivaara, E.; Cranston, E.D.; Dubé, M.A. Synthesis of Poly(Isobutyl Acrylate/n-Butyl Acrylate/Methyl Methacrylate) CNC Nanocomposites for Adhesive Applications via In Situ Semi-Batch Emulsion Polymerization. Polymer Composites 2018, in press.

13. Vanderfleet, O.M.; Osorio, D.A.; Cranston, E.D.* Optimization of Cellulose Nanocrystal Length and Surface Charge Density through Phosphoric Acid Hydrolysis. Philosophical Transactions A 2018, 376, 20170041.

14. Dastjerdi, Z.; Cranston, E.D.; Dube, M.A. Pressure Sensitive Adhesive Property Modification using Cellulose Nanocrystals, International Journal of Adhesion and Adhesives 2018, 81, 36-42.

15. Reid, M.S.; Stimpson, T.C,; Niinivaara, E.; Villalobos, M.; Cranston, E.D.* Comparing Soft Semicrystalline Polymer Nanocomposites Reinforced with Cellulose Nanocrystals and Fumed Silica. Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research 2017, 57, 220-230.

16. De France, K.J.; Yager, K.G.; Chan, K.J.W.; Corbett, B.; Cranston, E.D.; Hoare, T.  Injectable Anisotropic Nanocomposite Hydrogels Direct in Situ Growth and Alignment of Myotubes. Nano Lett. 2017, 17, 64876495.

17. Kedzior, S.A.; Dube, M.A.; Cranston, E.D.* Cellulose Nanocrystals and Methyl Cellulose as Costabilizers for Nanocomposite Latexes with Double Morphology. ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering 2017, 5, 10509-10517.

18. Reid, M.S.; Kedzior, S.A.; Villalobos, M.; Cranston, E.D.* Effect of Ionic Strength and Surface Charge Density on the Kinetics of Cellulose Nanocrystal Thin Film Swelling. Langmuir 2017, 33 (30), 7403-7411.

19. Martin, C.; Barker, R.; Watkins, E.; Dubreuil, F.; Cranston, E.D.; Heux, L.; Jean, B. Hybrid All-Nanoparticle Gibbsite Nanoplatelet/Cellulose Nanocrystal Multilayered Films with Highly Tunable Architectures. Langmuir, 2017, 33, 78967907.

20. Reid, M.S.; Marway, H.S.; Moran-Hidalgo, C.; Villalobos, M.; Cranston, E.D.* Polyethylene Glycol Adsorption to Cellulose and Silica Colloids. Cellulose 2017, 24, 4743–4757.

21. De France, K.J.; Hoare, T.; Cranston, E.D.* Review of Nanocellulose Aerogels and Hydrogels. Chemistry of Materials 2017, 29, 46094631.

22. Hu, Z.; Berry, R.M.; Pelton, R.; Cranston, E.D.* One-Pot Water-Based Hydrophobic Surface Modification of Cellulose Nanocrystals Using Plant Polyphenols. ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering 2017, 5 (6), 5018-5026.

23. Afkhami, S.; LeClair, D.A.; Haddadi, S.; Lai, R.; Toniolo, S.; Ertl, H.C.; Cranston, E.D.; Thompson, M.R.; Xing, Z. Spray Dried Human and Chimpanzee Adenoviral-vectored Vaccines are Thermally Stable and Immunogenic In Vivo. Vaccine 2017, 35 (22), 2916-2924.

24. Gill, U.; Sutherland, T.; Himbert, S.; Rheinstädter, M.; Cranston, E.D.*; Moran-Mirabal, J.* Beyond Buckling: Humidity-Independent Measurement of the Mechanical Properties of Green Nanocomposite Films. Nanoscale 2017, 9(23), 7689–8034.

25. Dastjerdi, Z.; Cranston, E.D.; Dube, M.A. Synthesis of Poly(n-butyl acrylate/methyl methacrylate)/CNC Latex Nanocomposites via In Situ Emulsion Polymerization. Macromolecular Reaction Engineering 2017, 11, 1700013.

26. Reid, M.S.; Marway, H.S.; Villalobos, M.; Cranston, E.D.* Hydrogen Bonding and Polymer Adsorption: A Look at Polyethylene Glycol with Cellulose and Silica Colloids. Current Opinion in Colloids and Interface Science 2017, 29, 76–82. Invited Article.

27. Kedzior, S.A.; Marway, H.S.; Cranston, E.D.* Predicting Cellulose Nanocrystal and Surfactant Behaviour in Mini Emulsion Polymerization. Macromolecules 2017, 50 (7), 2645-2655.

28. Reid, M.; Villalobos, M.; Cranston, E.D.* Benchmarking Cellulose Nanocrystals: From Laboratory Scale to Applications. Langmuir (Feature Article) 2016, 33 (7), 1583-1598. Invited Feature Article.

29. Abitbol, T.*; Marway, H.S.; Kedzior, S.A.; Yang, X.; Franey, A.; Gray, D.G.; Cranston, E.D. Hybrid Fluorescent Nanoparticles from Quantum Dots Coupled to Cellulose Nanocrystals. Cellulose 2016 24 (3), 1287-1293.

30. Hu, Z.; Xu, R.; Cranston, E.D.; Pelton, R.* Stable Aqueous Foams from Cellulose Nanocrystals and Methyl Cellulose. Biomacromolecules 2016, 17 (12), 4095–4099.

31. Hatton, F.L.; Kedzior, S.A.; Cranston, E.D.; Carlmark, A.* Grafting-from Cellulose Nanocrystals via Photoinduced Cu-mediated Reversible-deactivation Radical Polymerization. Carbohydrate Polymers 2016, 157, 1033-1040.

32. Zhu, H.; Yang, X.; Zhu, S.; Cranston, E.D.* Flexible and Porous Nanocellulose Aerogels with High Loadings of Metal-Organic Framework Particles for Separations Applications. Advanced Materials 2016, 28 (35), 7652-7657.

33. Shi, K.; Yang, X.; Cranston, E.; Zhitomirsky, I. Efficient Lightweight Supercapacitor with Compression Stability. Advanced Functional Materials 2016, 26 (35), 6437-6445.

34. LeClair, D.; Cranston, E.D.; Xing, Z.; Thompson, M. Optimization of Spray Drying Conditions for Yield, Particle Size and Biological Activity of Thermally Stable Viral Vectors. Pharmaceutical Research 2016, 33, 2763-2777.

35. De France, K.J.; Yager, K. G.; Hoare, T.; Cranston, E.D.* Cooperative Ordering and Kinetics of Cellulose Nanocrystal Alignment in a Magnetic Field. Langmuir 2016, 32 (30), 7564-7571. Invited cover art.

36. Dong, X.; Marway, H.S.; Cranston, E.D.; Pelton, R.H. Relating Nanoparticle Shape and Adhesiveness to Performance as Flotation Collectors. Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research 2016, 55 (36), 9633–9638.

37. Benselfelt, T.; Cranston, E.D.; Ondaral, S.; Johansson, E.; Brumer, H.; Rutland, M.W.; Wagberg, L. Adsorption of Xyloglucan onto Cellulose Surfaces of Different Morphologies: An Entropy-driven Process. Biomacromolecules 2016, 17 (9), 2801-2811.

38. Chau, M.; De France, K.J.; Kopera, B.; Machado, V.; Rosenfeldt, S.; Reyes, L.; Chan, K.J.W.; Foster, S.; Cranston, E.D.; Hoare, T.; Kumacheva, E. Composite Hydrogels with Tunable Anisotropic Morphologies and Mechanical Properties. Chemistry of Materials 2016, 28 (10), 3406–3415.

39. Reid, M.; Villalobos, M.; Cranston, E.D.* Cellulose Nanocrystal Interactions Probed by Thin Film Swelling to Predict Dispersibility. Nanoscale 2016, 8, 12247-12257.

40. LeClair, D.; Cranston, E.D.; Xing, Z.; Thompson, M. Evaluation of Excipients for Enhanced Thermal Stabilization of a Human Type 5 Adenoviral Vector through Spray Drying. International Journal of Pharmaceutics 2016, 506, 289–301.

41. Hu, Z.; Marway, H.S.; Kasem, H.; Pelton, R.; Cranston, E.D.* Dried and Redispersible Cellulose Nanocrystal Pickering Emulsions. ACS Macro Letters 2016, 5, 185–189.

42. De France, K.J.; Chan, K.J.W.; Cranston, E.D.; Hoare, T. Enhanced Mechanical Properties in Cellulose Nanocrystal–Poly(oligoethylene glycol methacrylate) Injectable Nanocomposite Hydrogels through Control of Physical and Chemical Cross-Linking. Biomacromolecules 2016 17, 649-660.

43. LaRue, R.; Cobbledick, J.; Latulippe, D.R.; Cranston, E.D. High-throughput dewatering test – a parallel processing format for screening and optimization studies, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research 2016, 105, 85–93.

44. Yang, X.; Shi, K.; Zhitomirsky, I.; Cranston, E.D.* Cellulose Nanocrystal Aerogels as Universal 3D Lightweight Substrates for Supercapacitor Materials. Advanced Materials 2015, 27, 6104–6109. Invited cover art and highlighted in 13+ popular science magazines and blogs.

45. Kedzior, S.A.; Graham, L.; Dooley, B. M.; Moorlag, C.; Cranston, E.D.* Poly(methyl methacrylate)-Grafted Cellulose Nanocrystals: One-Step Synthesis, Characterization and Nanocomposites. Journal of Canadian Chemical Engineering, 2016, 94, 811-822.

46. Hu, Z.; Patten, T.; Pelton, R.; Cranston, E.D.* Synergistic Stabilization of Emulsions and Emulsion Gels with Water-Soluble Polymers and Cellulose Nanocrystals, ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering 2015, 3, 1023–1031.

47. Goujon, L. J.; Hariharan, A.; Sayyar, B.; Burke, N. A. D.; Cranston, E.D.; Andrews, D. W.; Stover, D. H. Tuneable Hydrogel Thin Films from Reactive Synthetic Polymers as Potential 2D Cell Scaffolds. Langmuir 2015, 31, 5623–5632.

48. Rivkin, A.; Abitbol, T.; Nevo, Y.; Verker, R.; Lapidot, S.; Komarov, A.; Veldhuis, S.; Zilberman, G.; Cranston, E.D., Shoseyov, O. Bionanocomposite films from Resilin-CBD bound to Cellulose Nanocrystals. Industrial Biotechnology 2015, 11, 44-58.

49. Cranston, E.D.; Moran-Mirabal, J.M. Cellulose Nanotechnology: Fundamentals and Applications – Overview: Cellulose Nanotechnology on the Rise. Industrial Biotechnology 2015, 11, 1-2.

50. Hu, Z.; Ballinger, S.; Pelton, R.; Cranston, E.D.* Surfactant-Enhanced Cellulose Nanocrystal Pickering Emulsions. Journal of Colloids and Interface Science 2015, 439, 1439-148.

51. Yang, X.; Cranston, E.D.* Chemically Cross-linked Cellulose Nanocrystal Aerogels with Shape-Memory and Superabsorbent Properties. Chemistry of Materials, 2014, 26, 6016-6025. Highlighted in Chemical and Engineering News, October 2014 – Chemistry in Pictures.

52. Abitbol, T.; Prevo, B.; Galli, C.; Choudhary, S.; Corwin, J.; Villalpando, F.; Nguyen, L.; Villalobos, M.; Komarov, A.; Veldhuis, S.; Cranston, E.D.* A Comparison of Nanocrystalline Cellulose and Fumed Silica Nanoparticles in Latex Coatings. Green Materials 2014, 2, 206-221.

53. Hu, Z.; Cranston, E.D.; Ng, R.; Pelton, R.; Tuning Cellulose Nanocrystal Gelation with Polysaccharides and Surfactants, Langmuir 2014, 30, 2684-2692.

54. Abitbol, T.; Marway, H.; Cranston, E.D.* Surface Modification of Cellulose Nanocrystals with Cetyltrimethylammonium Bromide. Nordic Pulp and Paper Research Journal, 2014, 29 (1) 46-59.

55. Osterberg, M.; Cranston, E.D. Special Issue on Nanocellulose – Editorial. Nordic Pulp and Paper Research Journal, 2014, 29 (1) 1-2.

56. Yang, X.; Bakaic, E.; Hoare, T.; Cranston, E.D.* Injectable Polysaccharide Hydrogels Reinforced with Cellulose Nanocrystals: Morphology, Rheology, Degradation, and Cytotoxicity Biomacromolecules 2013, 14, 4447-4455. Highlighted in Chemical and Engineering News, June 2014 – Nano from the Forest.

57. 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, 3278-3284.

58. Kan, K.H.M.; Li, J.; Wijesekera, K.; Cranston, E.D.* Polymer-Grafted Cellulose Nanocrystals as pH Responsive Reversible Flocculants. Biomacromolecules 2013, 14, 3130-3139. Highlighted in Canadian Chemical News (ACCN) Sept.-Oct. 2013.

59. Kan, K.H.M.; Cranston, E.D.* Mechanical Testing of Thin Film Nanocellulose Composites Using Buckling Mechanics, TAPPI Journal 2013, 12, 9-17. Invited cover art and winner of the 2013 Best Nanotechnology Article in TAPPI Journal Award.

60. Sato, T.; Ali, M. M.; Pelton, R.; Cranston, E.D.* DNA Stickers Promote Polymer Adsorption onto Cellulose, Biomacromolecules 2012, 13, 3173-3180.

61. 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.

62. 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.

63. Cranston, E.D.*; Eita, M.; Johansson, E.; Netrval, J.; Salajkova, M.; Arwin, H; Wågberg, L. Determination of the Young’s Modulus for Nanofibrillated Cellulose Multilayer Thin Films Using Buckling Mechanics, Biomacromolecules 2011, 12, 961-969.

64. Cranston, E.D.*; Gray, D.G.; Rutland, M.W. Direct Surface Force Measurements of Polyelectrolyte Multilayer Films Containing Nanocrystalline Cellulose, Langmuir 2010, 26, 17190-17197.

65. Hasani, M.; Cranston, E.D.; Westman, G.; Gray, D.G., Cationic Surface Functionalization of Cellulose Nanocrystals, Soft Matter 2008, 4, 2238-2244.

66. Cranston, E.D.; Gray, D.G., Birefringence in Spin-Coated Films Containing Cellulose Nanocrystals. Colloids and Surfaces A 2008, 325, 44-51. (All research and manuscript writing performed by me with editorial assistance from Gray)

67. Cranston, E.D.; Gray, D.G., Morphological and Optical Characterization of Polyelectrolyte Multilayers Incorporating Nanocrystalline Cellulose. Biomacromolecules 2006, 7, 2522-2530.

68. 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, 319-321.

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, 995-99

Teaching philosophy
  • Implementing teaching methodologies and education technology focusing on student-centered learning
  • Developing education multimedia, demonstrations and websites for Science and Engineering
  • Leading problem solving workshops
  • Sharing “best practices” presentations for communication and networking within the job search context