Researchers

BioColour is a multidisciplinary consortium representing scientists from ten different research units. Consortium has researchers in University of Helsinki, University of Eastern Finland Kuopio and Joensuu units, Aalto University ARTS and Bio2 units, Häme University of Applied Sciences, Luke Natural Resources Institute Finland, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, North Carolina State University, USA and University of Campinas, Brazil. Consortium holds expertise of agriculture, applied plant science, chemistry, biosciences, toxicology, material science and technology, design research, information and communications technology, data science and consumer studies.

University of Helsinki

University of Helsinki group comprises experts of craft science, home economics and consumer studies. The group led by Docent Riikka Räisänen and Prof. Minna Autio includes Postdoctoral Researchers Sanna Sekki, Eliisa Kylkilahti and Anja Primetta, Doctoral Student Johanna Valkola and Interaction Coordinator Riikka Alanko. Team focuses on dyeing and printing processes and material properties, such as colourfastness. Also, cultural, ethical and societal aspects of (bio)colourants in packages, textiles and fashion applications are of interest. Aim is to understand what kind of attributes consumers associate with biomaterials and colourants and how they value colours in their product choices and lifestyles. Team also investigates biocolourants as a method in education for sustainability. Primetta’s focus is on the development of the biocolourant database.

Cover for article 'Riikka Alanko'

Riikka Alanko

Interaction Coordinator
University of Helsinki
+358 50 478 4501
[email protected]

Cover for article 'Riikka Räisänen'

Riikka Räisänen

Consortium leader
Docent, University Researcher
University of Helsinki
+358 503183973
[email protected]
@riikkaraisanen

Sanna Sekki

Postdoctoral Researcher
University of Helsinki
+358 44 073 73 89
[email protected]

Eliisa Kylkilahti

University Lecturer
University of Helsinki
+358 294 158 051
[email protected]
@EKylkilahti

HAMK Häme University of Applied Sciences

The HAMK (Häme University of Applied Sciences) team is led by Principal Research Scientist Päivi Laaksonen who works at the HAMK Tech research unit. Laaksonen’s team focuses on long-term durability of materials and has various expertise and methodology for weathering and corrosion studies. Doctoral Student Juha Jordan is working as a researcher in HAMK Tech and studies behavior of bio-based colourants in solid materials like wood and plastics. The HAMK team aims to strengthen the potential of using biocolourants in technical materials. 

Cover for article 'Päivi Laaksonen'

Päivi Laaksonen

Principal Research Scientist
Häme University of Applied Sciences
+358 50 471 62 88
[email protected]

Juha Jordan

PhD Student
Häme University of Applied Sciences
+358 50 323 53 54
[email protected]

University of Eastern Finland (UEF), School of Pharmacy

Natural dyes may contain biologically active compounds which may have harmful effects on human health. The research team lead by Associate Prof. Jaana Rysä of toxicology at the School of Pharmacy UEF will assess toxicity of novel biocolourants. The team includes Postdoctoral Researcher Mikko Herrala and Doctoral Student Johanna Yli-Öyrä. The team studies cell viability, cytotoxicity, skin sensitivity and production of reactive oxygen species in human cell lines. In addition, the team provides expertise for safety evaluation and risk assessment. The ultimate aim is to ensure the safety of novel bio-based dyes and pigments.

University of Eastern Finland (UEF), School of Computing

The UEF School of Computing provides the expertise in data science and computational spectral imaging. Prof. Markku Hauta-Kasari is leading the computational spectral imaging research group which belongs to the UEF Institute of Photonics. BioColour research includes Doctoral Student Joni Hyttinen and Prof. Xiao-Shi Gao, who’s team is focusing on the nature inspired computing methodology. The main tasks are related in constructing the database of the biocolourants and their properties. The digital implementation of the database is planned to be used via a web-browser and with intelligent searching methods. The aim is to publish the first open digital biocolourant database with novel data science approaches for authenticity analysis and quality control.

Cover for article 'Jaana Rysä'

Jaana Rysä

Associate Professor
University of Eastern Finland
+358 50 316 41 05
[email protected]
@ToxUEF

Cover for article 'Markku Hauta-Kasari'

Markku Hauta-Kasari

Professor
University of Eastern Finland
+358 504 056 231
[email protected]
@MarkkuHK_UEF

Johanna Yli-Öyrä

Early Stage Researcher, PhD Student
University of Eastern Finland
[email protected]

Joni Hyttinen

Early Stage Researcher, PhD Student
University of Eastern Finland
[email protected]

North Carolina State University (NCSU)

Prof. Gisela Umbuzeiro is a toxicologist and the team leader for toxicology activities at NCSU that pertain to the mutagenicity and aquatic toxicity evaluation of the biocolourants. Her recently developed miniaturized protocol for mutagenicity testing will be employed and for aquatic toxicity studies the Daphnia model will be used. Prof. Harold S. Freeman is a textile/dye chemist and the team leader for activities at NCSU that pertain to the application of biocolourants to textiles, evaluation of the technical properties of the dyed substrates and scale-up studies using yarn and jet dyeing. Biocolourant application studies will include waterless dyeing technologies comprising atmospheric plasma and SC-CO2 and the use of digital printing. Freeman will also lead the evaluation of biocolourants for solar cells use. Riikka Räisänen’s team from the University of Helsinki will team with NCSU researchers to conduct dyeing and printing studies.

Cover for article 'Harold S. Freeman'

Harold S. Freeman

Professor
North Carolina State University
+919 515 6552
[email protected]

Cover for article 'Gisela de Aragão Umbuzeiro'

Gisela de Aragão Umbuzeiro

Professor
North Carolina State University & University of Campinas
+551 998 183 44 94
[email protected]

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd

VTT’s BioColour team is led by Research Professor Merja Penttilä, whose focus is in advancing science and technology in the fields of Industrial Biotechnology and Synthetic biology. VTT’s large team includes Principal Scientists Mervi Toivari and Ann Westerholm-Parvinen, Research Scientist Satu Hilditch, Senior Scientists Geza Szilvay and Heli Nygren among others. Team has excellence in material sciences, genetic engineering of microbes as well as microbial metabolism and physiology. In the BioColour project the focus is on microbial production of selected natural colourants, their use for different materials, and enzymes involved in these processes.

Cover for article 'Merja Penttilä'

Merja Penttilä

Research Professor
VTT Technical Research Centre
of Finland Ltd
+358 40 700 01 63
[email protected]
@merjaelisa

Geza Szilvay

Research Scientist 
VTT Technical Research Centre 
of Finland Ltd 
[email protected] 

Ann Westerholm-Parvinen

Principal Scientist
VTT Technical Research Centre
of Finland Ltd
+358 40 720 64 19
[email protected]

Mervi Toivari

Principal Scientist
VTT Technical Research Centre
of Finland Ltd
+358 40 7081039
[email protected]

Satu Hilditch

Research Scientist
VTT Technical Research Centre
of Finland Ltd
[email protected]

Aalto ARTS

Aalto ARTS team includes Prof. of Practice Julia Lohmann and Associate Prof. Kirsi Niinimäki, Postdoctoral Researcher Marium Durrani, Doctoral Student Pirita Lauri and Master’s Student Ingvill Fossheim. Lohmann studies biocolours in a critical design context. With her artistic and public work she questions established value systems and suggests alternatives for sustainability. Lohmann investigates dyes for degradable materials such as algae and bioplastic. She is interested in communicating the outcomes in participatory, multi-sensorial ways. Niinimäki studies biocolours in a design and industrial context. The new understanding of aesthetics and aesthetics of diversity is in the focus. New design strategies and colouring methods which support more designerly and creative outcomes even in industrial processes will be developed. Niinimäki’s team will study consumers’ understanding and acceptance towards different kind of aesthetics produced with biocolourants.

Aalto Bio2

The research groups of Aalto Bio2 team led by Associate Prof. Monika Österberg and Prof. Tapani Vuorinen work with valorization of renewable lignocellulosic biomass towards materials with added value. Team includes also Doctoral Students Tia Lohtander and Owain Dawson as well as Postdoctoral Researcher Jinze Dou. Österberg group‘s focus is on surface chemistry of forest biomaterials, lignin valorization, and non-toxic surface treatments of textiles whereas Vuorinen group’s expertise is structure and chemistry of plants and plant cell wall, chemical processing of plant biomass and organic reaction mechanisms. Aalto Bio2 team aims to explore the use of coloured components of lignocellulosics in textile colouration and gain fundamental understanding of the colouration phenomena starting from formation of colour to interactions between biocolourants and substrates, and to create functional materials with added value.

Cover for article 'Monika Österberg'

Monika Österberg

Associate Professor
Aalto University
+358505497218
[email protected]
@OsterbergLab

Ingvill Fossheim

PhD Student
Aalto University

Jinze Dou

Postdoctoral Researcher  
Aalto University 
00358504088797 
[email protected]

Luke Natural Resources Institute Finland

Luke’s group consists of specialist in plant production, microbiology, processing technology and organic chemistry. Senior Scientist Marjo Keskitalo is focusing her research on the plant physiology and production technology of woad and other field grown dye crops. Postdoctoral Researcher Pirjo Yli-Hemminki is studying growth-promoting rhizobacteria as part of the development of sustainable production methods for woad.  Research Scientist Nora Pap is going to carry on different filtration techniques of indigo dye in a way that it is cost-efficient at the farm level. Also more resource-efficient extraction methods will be studied. Research Scientist Juha Matti-Pihlava is analyzing the purities of indigo dyes and the amounts of indigo precursors in woad. The overall aims are to increase the yield of plant derived dyes, develop more efficient and carbon-neutral methods for the production and extraction of dyes and understand the biotic and abiotic factors affecting the dye production.  

Cover for article 'Marjo Keskitalo'

Marjo Keskitalo

Senior Scientist
Luke – Natural Resources Institute Finland
+358 29 532 62 37
[email protected]
@MarjoKeskitalo