ICNF 2015 - 2nd International Conference on Natural Fibers

Juan Hinestroza

Teaching Cotton New Tricks via manipulation of Nanoscale Phenomena


Associate Professor of Fiber Science & Director of The Textiles Nanotechnology Laboratory, Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, USA


Juan P. Hinestroza is a tenured Associate Professor of Fiber Science and directs The Textiles Nanotechnology Laboratory at the College of Human Ecology of Cornell University in Ithaca, NY.  Professor Hinestroza obtained a Ph.D. from the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Tulane University and B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from Universidad Industrial de Santander. Prior to pursuing doctoral studies, Professor Hinestroza worked as a process control engineer for The Dow Chemical Company.

Professor Hinestroza works on understanding fundamental phenomena at the nanoscale that are of relevance to Fiber and Polymer Science. Hinestroza has received over 5.3 MM USD in research funding (Federal and State agencies as well as Industrial Consortiums) for his pioneering work in exploring new pathways for creating multifunctional fibers via manipulation of nanoscale phenomena.
Professor Hinestroza, a US Fulbright Scholar, has been the recipient of a myriad of awards including the National Science Foundation CAREER Award, theJ.D. Watson Young Investigator Award from NYSTAR and the Educator of the Year Award from the Society of Professional Hispanic Engineers.  Professor Hinestroza has delivered invited lectures worldwide at Universities and Research Centers in Italy, Korea, China, Japan, Taiwan, Mexico, Spain, Brazil, The Netherlands, Colombia, Argentina, Hungary, Czech Republic, Vietnam, Switzerland, Finland, Austria, France, Singapore, Thailand, Chile, Turkey and Germany.  In addition, Professor Hinestroza  has received visiting scientist fellowships from The Chubu Foundation for Science and Technology of Japan, The National Council for Scientific and Technological Development in Brazil and The Swiss National Science Foundation.
Professor Hinestroza’s scientific work has been featured inNature Nanotechnology, MRS Bulletin, Materials Today, C&E News, National Geographic, ASEE Prism as well as mainstream media outlets such as CNN, Wired, TechReview, The Guardian, Popular Science, ABC News, NYTimes, Reuters, PBS, NPR and BBC.  In addition to his scientific endeavors, Professor Hinestroza and his research group are actively involved in community outreach activities aimed at increasing the number of members from underrepresented minority groups in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics as well as engaging senior citizens in collaborative and inter-generational learning experiences.


In this presentation, we will discuss examples of several strategies –based on self, forced and convective assembly techniques  – that our laboratory have used to modify the properties of cotton using nanoscale materials. 

In the first case we will present the assembly of functionalized nanoparticles on the surface of cotton fibers aimed at creating conformal and uniform coatings with nanoscale precision.  Some of these conformal coatings exhibit enhanced antibacterial properties and can be used to create tunable structural coloration effects.  As the space between particles can be tailored by controlling the functionalization of the cotton’s surface and the surface’s chemistry of the nanoparticles, unique olephobic/hydrophobic as well as highly sensitive substrates for SERS spectroscopy can be created.

In the second case we will discuss the development of electrically responsive cotton using an in-situ polymerization method capable of creating flexible bridges between nanoparticles. The resulting conductive threads could be used for simultaneously sewing and wiring wearable electronic textiles. Furthermore, the same procedure was used to create semiconductor-based nanolayers on cotton fibers and these layers were assembled into two types of cotton-based transistors – and Organic electrochemical transistor (OECT) and an organic field effect transistors (OFET). In the last case, we will discuss the use of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) to create cotton fabrics capable of sensing and trapping toxic gases, insecticides and other value-added compounds by judiciously controlling the interactions between the MOF and the functional groups on the surface of the cotton fibers.

These examples demonstrate how an “old” natural fiber such as cotton can be used as an engineering material with unique functionalities while preserving its comfort, flexibility and water absorbency properties. The strategies developed are scalable and could be replicated in many other cellulose-based natural fibers.





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  • - Jury (doc, pdf)


Abstract submission

30th October 2014

15th November 2014

Communication of acceptance

12th December 2014

Early registration

28th February 2015

Full Paper Submission

8th March 2015

Award Application

31th March 2015


email: secretariat

Registration form

Available soon