Ana Villares

Ana Villares

session, year:
2013 1st

Former fellow

Receiving laboratory:
UR BIA Biopolymers, Interactions and Assemblies, Nantes

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Mobility project

Preparation of nanostructures with polysaccharides from natural sources

Increasing environmental awareness and limitation of petroleum resources stimulate research dedicated to bio-based materials with low environmental impact and innovative functionality. The living world can be a fruitful source of inspiration and my project is aimed at the preparation and characterization of nanostructures containing polysaccharides extracted from natural sources. Two naturally occurring polysaccharides, chitin nanocrystals and xyloglucan, will be assembled onto multilayer thin films using the spin-assisted layer-by-layer procedure. The adsorption process and interactions between xyloglucan and chitin will be examined, and the impact of experimental parameters on film growth will be studied, including rinsing step, chitin concentration, and ionic strength. The resultant films will be characterized in order to obtain information about the molecular arrangement, surface coverage, thickness, roughness, etc.

Biography & research interests

I graduated with a degree in Chemistry from Zaragoza University (Spain) in 2003. In 2008, I obtained a European PhD from Zaragoza University, concentrating at the fabrication and characterization of thin films containing conjugated organic derivatives. In 2008, I undertook a 5 years researcher position at the Centre for the Food Quality (INIA) in Soria (Spain) and actively collaborated with the Centre setting-up and establishment of research lines, conducting studies on emerging projects on bioactive components from natural products. In 2013, I undertook a post-doctoral AgreenSkills fellowship at the INRA Research Unit of Biopolymers, Interactions and Assemblies in Nantes (France) aimed at the fabrication of multilayer films containing polysaccharides obtained from natural sources. In 2015, I got a permanent scientist position at INRA. My project is focused on the development of new materials from natural sources. Specifically, I work on the surface modification of nanocelluloses by innovative approaches, such as enzymatic.

Selected publications

Villares A., Moreau, C., Bennati-Granier, C., Garajova, S., Foucat, L., Falourd, X., Saake, B., Berrin, J. G., Cathala, B., 2017. Lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases disrupt the cellulose fibers structure. Scientific Reports, 7, 40262.

Villares, A., Bizot, H., Moreau, C., Rolland-Sabaté, A., Cathala, B., 2017. Effect of xyloglucan molar mass on its assembly onto the cellulose surface and its enzymatic susceptibility. Carbohydrate Polymers, 157, 1105-1112.

Villares A., Moreau C., Dammak A., Capron I., Cathalaa B., 2015. Kinetic aspects of the adsorption of xyloglucan onto cellulose nanocrystals. Soft Matter, 11, 6472-6481.

Dammak, A., Quémener, B., Bonnin, E., Alvarado, C., Bouchet, B., Villares, A., et al., 2015. Exploring Architecture of Xyloglucan Cellulose Nanocrystal Complexes through Enzyme Susceptibility at Different Adsorption Regimes. Biomacromolecules, 16, 589-596.

Villares A., Moreau C., Capron I., Cathala B., 2014. Chitin Nanocrystal-Xyloglucan Multilayer Thin Films. Biomacromolecules, 15, 188-194.

Awards & patents

2016 INRA Early Career Award (Laurier).

Attributed by an international jury. UR1268 Biopolymers Interactions Assemblies (BIA), Angers-Nantes Research Centre, INRA, France

2008 Extraordinary Award of Doctorate

Attributed by the Department of Organic and Physical Chemistry, Sciences Faculty, Zaragoza University, Zaragoza, Spain

Talks in annual meetings


Nanotechnology, self-assembly, spin-coating, dip-coating, layer-by-layer, thin film, food coating, mushroom, polysaccharide, antioxidant.