Tailoring through Colloidal Processing


11th of May. Young workshop. Our team had an intense presence in the workshop for young researchers in functional materials organized by the Spanish Society of Ceramic and Glass and the University of Cordoba. Oxel Urra and Pablo Ortega has presented their last advances in their researchs on additive manufacturing with organic-inorganic composites for photocatalist and electrocatalithic applications. A. Javier Sanchez has been a member of the evaluation committee. They have been two great days of intense and productive work sharing result with colleagues.

8th of May. Book Chapter. Our colleague Ana Ferrandez has co-authored the chapter entitled - The incorporation of new functionalities to biocomposites for biomedical applications of the book Biopolymers Synthesis, Properties, and Emerging Applications. The book presents the state-of-the-art in biopolymers, bringing together detailed information on synthesis strategies, processing and cutting-edge applications. The book begins by introducing the synthesis, processing and structural and functional properties of smart biopolymers and bionanocomposites. Subsequent chapters focus on the synthesis and preparation of biopolymers with valuable properties or for specific advanced applications, including piezoelectric properties, shape memory properties, biodegradable polymer blends, synthesis and assembly of nanomaterials, synthesis of green biopolymers, and catalytic synthesis of bio-sourced polyesters and polycarbonate, as well as applications in active food packaging, water purification, biomedicine, 3D printing, and automotive.
20th April. Presentation. Oxel Urra has participated into the 3rd Young Ceramist Network Workshop held in the University of Aveiro. He has participated into the session devoted to Additive Manufacturing and related techniques. He presented our last advances in the manufacture and characterization of graphite and graphene filaments and 3D printed samples.

31 January. Sencondment. We say goodbye to our colleague Pablo Ortega Columbrans who will spend 3 months at the Politecnico di Milano thanks to a mobility grant from the JECS Trust. The work focuses in 3D printing by binder jetting of photocatalytic membranes from spried-dried granulated nanopowders under the supervision of Professor Nora Lecis from the Department of Mechanical Engineering and her team together with Professor Carmen Galassi. We are glad to continue and strength our collaborations in powders desing and AM with this group of outstanding researchers.


20th January. Nomination. Our mate Begoña Ferrari has been nominated for the award Woman in Renewable H2 of the Year, organized by the RENMAD company. This is a recognition to the efforts that Begoña has lead in the last years in both, promoting and researching about the use of H2 at an industrial level.
As General Secretary of the Spanish Ceramic Society, Begoña has promoted two workshops in Spain (Castellón 2021 and Madrid 2022) and one in Portugal (Aveiro 2022) about the use of Hydrogen for decarbonization in the ceramic industry.
In research, she is leading a govermental project for the industrial transition about the use of Additive Manufacturing for H2 electrolizers, is supervision an Industrial Doctorate also in this subject and collaboration with industries to provide powdermetallurgical solutions with high TRL for fuel cells and H2 generation.

You can vote for this nomination here!!! http://bit.ly/3J20uTB


1st January. Welcome. We welcome to Caterina Chirico, who has joinied our group for the next two years suported by a grant Juan de la Cierva-Formación. Caterina got the PhD degree in the group GTP of the University Carlos III in 2021. The subject of the project was about the powder metallurgy of Titanium powders. After the thesis she joined the company COLFEED4Print as a doctor to work in the CDTI-Neotec project Filament-Oss.



December. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

This year has been quite intense in the group and the start-up, recovering completely the activity and mobility. As always we had good and bad times, but in balance we have enjoyed a lot.

Now that the year is ending and we are waiting for the new one with expectations and renewed ilusions, all the members of our team,wishes you a Merry Christmas and for a very Happy 2023.


6th December. New Paper online. S. Mouhtadi, O. Urra, C.C. Buron, C. Filiâtre, B. Ferrari, I. Pochard, "Nanoarchitectonics of eco-friendly nickel oxide nanoplatelets for energy storage", App. Phys. A, 129 (1), 6 (2023)DOI: 10.1007/s00339-022-06278-2

This paper presents the processing of nanostructured nickel hydroxide coatings by direct aqueous electrophoretic deposition (EPD) method without binder or organic solvent. β-Ni(OH)2 nanoplatelets were first synthetized by chemical precipitation from nickel nitrate in ammonia under ultrasound. These particles, stabilized at pH ≈ 8, present an equivalent diameter of 250 nm and an electrophoretic mobility of ≈ + 2.5 × 10–8 m2 V−1 s−1. Cathodic EPD was performed at room temperature for different values of particles concentration, deposition time and applied electric field. An optimal coating was achieved using a 1 g L−1 of β-Ni(OH)2 particles suspension during 30 min deposition time at an electric field of 75 V m−1. In this work, the suspension conductivity was studied showing that a very narrow range of conductivity can leads to efficient deposition in aqueous EPD. The β-Ni(OH)2 coatings were heated at 325 °C in air for 1, 2 and 3 h to form NiO films. The electrochemical properties of the NiO films were evaluated by cyclic voltammetry (CV) and galvanostatic charge/discharge (GCD). Significant differences were observed in term of specific capacitance values as a function of annealing time and film thickness. Finally, the film microstructure was determined by the calculation of the electrochemically active surface area (ECSA) using Randles–Ševčík equation.

1st December. New Paper Published. M. Mariani, G. Frias Blanco, E. Mercadelli, A.J. Sanchez-Herencia, C. Galassi, N. Lecis, B. Ferrari B., "Tailoring α-alumina powder morphology through spray drying for cold consolidation by binder jetting", Open Ceram., 12, 100307 (2022) DOI: 10.1016/j.oceram.2022.100307

This work describes an optimised procedure for granulating nanometric and fine micrometric particles by spray-drying to achieve ready-to-print α-Al2O3 powders. The study started by identifying raw materials suited for the process through complete characterisation of particles shape, size, and surface properties. Then, dispersion in
diluted and concentrated water-based suspensions was achieved thanks to polyethyleneimine and the effect of gradual dispersant addition was assessed by determining ζ potential and aggregates size variation. Suspensions rheology was studied and modelled through Krieger-Dougherty equation to identify the maximum solid loading allowing sufficient feeding through the spray-dryer nozzle. Finally, optimisation of the granulation conditions was performed.
The procedure has allowed to achieve size distributions with D90 < 50 μm and Hausner ratio <1.3 ensuring sufficient flowability. The granulated powders were printed and the porosity evolution of the samples after sintering was studied by mercury intrusion porosimetry and SEM analysis.


17-18th November. Workshop. Begoña Ferrari has co-chaired the "Workshop on Energy and Decarbonization of the Ceramic Industry" hold by the Electroceramics Department of the University of Aveiro. The main chair of the workshop was Prof. Paula Vilarinho. The workshop was organized with four main activities: 1. Talks/lectures on different aspects of the current ceramic industry status and on options for ceramics industry decarbonization.; 2. case studies on the successful industrial implementation of options to decarbonize; 3. short oral presentations of R&D work of the participants (PhD students and researchers); 4. Rump session, debate, and matchmaking event.

Begoña Ferrari also lecture the invited talk "Colloidal processing: routes to save energy" and A. Javier Sanchez-Herencia presented a summary of the European Funds supporting this subject, included the Innovation Funds managed by CINEA.


9-11th November. Forum on Additive Manufacturing. yCAM is a symposium and a forum on Additive Manufacturing of Ceramics dedicated to young scientists. Our group have had a intense participation with the presence of our young researchers. Also it has been a great oportunity to meet with colleagues and friends that have spent some time with us.

A. Ferrandez-Montero has presented the invited talk "Colloidal Materials in Additive Manufacturing: from the granulation to the ink"

Other works we have presented are:
"TiO2-based porous photocatalytic membranes by FFF from a colloidal feedstock" P. Ortega, A.J. Sanchez-herencia, B. Ferrari.

"Colloidal feedstock with a high content of graphite particles for self-supporting 3D oriented conductive electrodes by material extrusion", O. Urra, H. Besharatloo,  J. Yus, A.J. Sanchez-herencia, B. Ferrari.

"Preparation of Cu-based Colloidal Feedstocks for Material Extrusion with Filaments" E. Usala, E. Espinosa, B. Ferrari, Z. Gonzalez

"Ceramic-based 3D scaffolds for biomedical application by FFF using a colloidal feedstock" A. Eguiluz, A. Ferrandez-Montero, P. Ortega, A.J. Sanchez-Herencia, B. Ferrari.


8th November. New Paper Online. C. Argentati, F. Dominici, F. Morena, M. Rallini, I. Tortorella, A. Ferrandez-Montero, R.M. Pellegrino, B. Ferrari, C. Emiliani, M. Lieblich, L. Torre. S. Martino, I. Armentano, "Thermal treatment of magnesium particles in polylactic acid polymer films elicits the expression of osteogenic differentiation markers and lipidome profile remodeling in human adipose stem cells", Int. J. Biol. Macromol., 223, 684 - 701 (2022) DOI:10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2022.11.005

It is developed a novel PLA/Mg-based composites and explored their osteogenic differentiation potential on human adipose stem cells (hASCs). Mg-particles/polymer interface was improved by two treatments: heating in oxidative atmosphere (TT) and surface modification with a compatibilizer (PEI). Different contents of Mg particles were dispersed in PLA and composite surface and bulk properties, protein adsorption, stem cell-PLA/Mg interactions, osteogenic markers expressions, and lipids composition profile were evaluated. Mg particles were uniformly distributed on the surface and in the bulk PLA polymer. Improved and modulated particle-polymer adhesion was observed in Mg particle-treated composites.


3-4th November. Ana Ferrandez has participated into the "2nd International Workshop Biomaterial Innovations – Toward Repair of Human Body" holded at the University of Cergy-Pontoise (France). She has presented the talk entitled "New ion delivery 3D printed scaffolds based on hybrid biocomposites" where she has presented our last results in this subjetc.


30th October -3rd November. Meeting. After several years with online editions, the meeting on EPD has been again presencial, this time in Santa Fe (NM, USA). The VII edition has bring presenters from America, Asia and Europe, including members of our team. Begoña Ferrari has been co-chair of the Meeting. Also we have presented the following papers.

"EPD Technology for Functionalizing 3D Printing Scaffolds" B. Ferrari, A. Ferrandez-Montero, J. Yus, A. Eguiluz, O. Urra, P. Ortega, Z. Gonzalez, A.J. Sanchez-Herencia.

"Manufacturing TiN films through a One-Step Processing method: Shaping and Sintering by EPD" A.J. Sánchez-Herencia, Z. Gonzalez, J. Yus, R. Moratalla, B. Ferrari

"Modelling of electrophoretic deposition (EPD) of soft particles and experimental verification" J. Yus, B. Giera, A. Pascall, Z. Gonzalez, A.J. Sánchez-Herencia, B. Ferrari

We were very satified when it was announced that next meeting will be held in Spain.


22nd October. New Paper published. P.J. Lloreda-Jurado, K. Balu, J. Hernandez-Saz, E. Chicardi, B. Ferrari, R. Sepulveda, "Alumina doped Fe2O3 foams by freeze-casting for redox cycling applications", J. Eur. Ceram. Soc., 42, 5922–5931 (2022) DOI: 10.1016/j.jeurceramsoc.2022.06.054

Hydrogen is the next energy vector for a decarbonization society but industrial production is still methane-based. This paper shows that a Fe2O3-3 wt% of Al2O3 foams created by freeze-casting withstand 10 redox cycles at different temperatures with no reduction in performance or pore shrinking. The use of stearic acid as a dispersant agent/binder produces the porous structure enhancement of the foam and promotes the early reduction of the hematite phase during foam sintering. The Al2O3 incorporation was detected as a solid solution in the Fe2O3 phase at the particle surface. This result is relevant as correlated the positive values of the zeta potential observed. Freeze-casted foams could improve long-term redox performances combining a unique tailored interconnected pore struc- ture with a specific chemical composition.


19th October. ACerS Spanish Chapter. We have participated into the meeting of the Spanish Chapter of the American Ceramic Society hold at the ITC in Castellon. The subject of the meeting was "Ceramic Materials and Glasses for the XXI century". We were invited to present the following speaches.

"Non-Oxide Ceramics with Small Additions of Metals Colloidally Dispersed" A. J. Sanchez-Herencia, A. Eguiluz, A. Zegai. H. Besharatloo and B. Ferrari,

"A Colloidal approach for the Fused Filament Fabrication: Rheology and Multimaterial 3D Printing" B. Ferrari, A. Ferrandez-Montero, P. Ortega, A. Eguiluz, O. Urra, E. Upsala, J. Yus, Z. Gonzalez, A.J. Sanchez-Herencia .


7th October. New Proyect. Our group have been granted with a proyect in the call of Strategic Proyects Oriented to Ecological and Digital Transition. The proposal EC0FOOTPrint "Eco-efficient printing of MultiMaterials for renewable H2 generation" has achieved funds for 176.700€ within the coordinated proposal "Recycled and Biopolymers in Functional MultiMaterials Printing to decarbonise H2 Production". Dr. Begoña Ferrari, from the Tailoring through Colloidal Processing, is the IP of the ICV and coordinates the proposal. Other participants are: the University of Cordoba (IP: Prof. Zoilo Gonzalez), University of Seville (IP: Prof. Ranier Sepulveda) and Polytechnical University of Madrid (IP: Prof. Marina Arrieta).

This coordinated project tackles challenges of the ecological transition related with the decarbonization of the productive activities included in the value chain of renewable H2 production. A clear challenge on the way to an economically viable photoelectrolyser is to develop inexpensive semiconductor materials, with adequate microstructural designs, that can deliver H2 efficiently with a direct solid-conductor liquid-junction (SCLJ) while operating stably on a timescale of years


29th September Begoña Ferrari has been invited in the seminars cycle of Materials for Energy and Enviroment organized by the University Institute for Nanochemistry. She has lectured the conference "Colloidal Materials into the Additive Manufacture: From granulation to Inks" where she presented the relevance of the colloidal behaviour into the Additive Manufacturing techniques and who an adequate use of this knowledge can provide materials with tuned microstructures and, finally, better properties.


19th September. Meeting. Begoña Ferrari and Ana Ferrandez-Montero have attended to Symposium and Annual meeting of the International Society for Ceramics in Medicine "Bioceramics32" Hold in Venice-Mestre. They have presented the following papers:

"New ion delivery 3D printed scaffolds based on ceramic biocomposites" A. Ferrandez-Montero, A. Eguiluz, P. Ortega, A.J. Sanchez-Herencia, B. Ferrari,

"Effect of the HNT nanocarriers dispersion in SrR release in PLA and GN biodegradable composites", A. Ferrandez-Montero, S. Behnam Abdollahi, Z. González, A.J. Sanchez-Herencia, B. Ferrari


19th September. Sencondment. We farewell to our colleague Oxel Urra who is spending 3 moths at the University of Padova supported by Mobility Grant of the JECSTrust. He intends to develop disruptive NASICON electrolytes by DIW under the supervision of Professor Paolo Colombo combining the knowledge in colloidal stabilization and preceramic polymers of each guest and host research groups.  


18th August. Sencondment. We welcome to Florencia Hernández (Flor) who is going to spend 3 moths with us supported by Mobility Grant of the JECSTrust. Flor is staff member of Center of Technolgoy of Minerals and Ceramic resources (CETMIC) belonging to CONICET. She is going to continue with the studies in the processing and characterization of multilayers of aluminium borate and alumina materials as well as the processing of non-oxide boron materials.


17th August. New Paper online. H. Besharatloo, M. de Nicolas-Morillas, M. Chen, A. Mateo, B. Ferrari, E. Gordo, E. Jimenez-Pique, J.M. Wheeler f, L. Llanes"Micropillar compression of Ti(C,N)-FeNi cermets: Microstructural, processing, and scale effects", J. Eur. Ceram. Soc., (2022) DOI: 10.1016/j.jeurceramsoc.2022.09.029

The influence of microstructure and processing route on the small-scale mechanical response as well as on the deformation and failure mechanisms of Ti(C,N)-FeNi cermets were investigated by uniaxial compression of micropillars milled by focused ion beam with different sizes. Stress-strain curves were determined and associated deformation mechanisms were observed in-situ using scanning electron microscopy. The appropriate micropillars dimension was assessed, based on the microstructural characteristics of studied cermets, to overcome scale effect issues. A direct relationship was observed between yield strength and ceramic/metal ratio for colloidal samples. Meanwhile, deformation of metallic binder and glide between Ti(C,N)/Ti(C,N) particles were evidenced as dominant mechanisms during the compression for colloidal cermets with 70 and 80 vol% of ceramic phase, respectively. The obtained results illustrate that samples processed from powder attained by colloidal route provide superior mechanical behavior, as compared to that exhibited by specimens shaped following a conventional powder metallurgy one (wet ball-milling/drying).


14-19th August. Invited Speakers. Our group has participated into the XXX International Materials Research Congress organized by the Mexican Society of Materiales (SMMater), Materials Research Society (MRS) and the International Union of Materials Research Societies (IUMRS) in Cancum (Mexico).

In the Symposia Cluster D. Materials Processing and Design we have presented the following invited conferences.

"A Colloidal approach for the Fused Filament Fabrication: Rheology and Multimaterial 3D Printing" B. Ferrari, A. Ferrandez-Montero, P. Ortega, A. Eguiluz, A. Serrano, O. Urra, A.J. Sanchez-Herencia.

"Sintering of Non-Oxide Ceramics with Small Additions of Metals Colloidally Dispersed" A.J. Sanchez-Herencia, A. Eguiluz, A. Serrano and B. Ferrari,


17th August. New Paper published. J. Orellana-Barrasa,A. Ferrandez-Montero, B. Ferrari and J.Y. Pastor, "Natural Ageing of PLA Filaments, Can It Be Frozen?", Polyymers, 14 (16) 3361 (2022) DOI: 10.3390/polym14163361

This research aims to study the mechanical behavior of the PLA as it is intended to be used for medical prostheses, and it will be helpful to store the PLA and stop the ageing so that we can adapt the research schedule to external factors without having to restart all the experiments. The DSC provides plenty of information regarding the material's thermal properties.


19th July. Invited Lecture. Dr Begoña Ferrari have lectured an invited talk entitled "Additive Manufacturing of ceramics" during the celebration of the Junior Euromat2022 hosted by the Portuguese Society of Materials in the University of Coimbra from the 19th to the 22nd of July.


13th July. Summer Course. Ana Ferrandez-Montero has teached the lecture "Tecnologías de impresion 3D y 2D a partir de tintas y pastas cerámicas" (Technologies for 3D and 2D printing from inks and ceramic slurries) in the frame of the Complutense University´s Summer Course "ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING: ITS DISRUPTIVE IMPACT ON SOCIETY". Course is sponsored by CSIC and UNED.



1st July. Indutrial Doctorate. We are goint to host the Industrial Doctorate of the Spin-Off COLFEED4Print S.L. during the next three years.

COLFEED4Print has been awarded with the grant to support Pablo Ortega's Industrial Doctorate with our group as supporting research institution. The subject for the thesis is the use of AM techniques for the production of Electrodes for H2. and will be supervised by Begoña Ferrari.


20-24 th june. Meetin. B. Ferrari and A.J. Sanchez-Herencia have participated at the 15th International Ceramic Conference hold in Perugia (Italy).

B. Ferrari has been member of the Scientific Committeein the Symposium on Advances in processing science and manufacturing of high performance ceramics and composites. We presented the following oral speaches.

"A Coloidal approach for the Fused Filament Fabrication: Multimaterial 3D Printing" B. Ferrari, A. Eguiluz, P. Ortega, O. Urra, J. Yus, A. Ferrandez-Montero, A.J. Sanchez-Herencia

" Colloidal Processing of Nano-Nickel Doped WC Compacts for Improved Hot Press and Pressureless Sintering" E. M. Garcia-Ayala, Z. Gonzalez, L. Silvestroni, B. Ferrari, J. Y. Pastor, A.J. Sanchez-Herencia

And our collaborator Zoilo presented also an invited lecture

"A practical overview of colloidal strategies to manufacture ad-hoc designs of advanced 2D and 3D structures" Z. Gonzalez, J. Yus, E. Usala, P. Ortega-Columbrans, E. Espinosa, A. Rodríguez, A. J. Sanchez-Herencia and B. Ferrari.


17th June. ·3D Trade Fair. Our team has been invited by COLFEED4Print to participate in the International Trade Show on Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing supporting the customers and visitor to the Stand of the company about the filaments developed in the frame of the group.

It has been a different experience to what life in scientific meetings we use to attend. Instead of discussing about experiments, microstructures and conclusions and applications and development we talk about uses, cost and production time.


15th June. New Paper published. S. Retegi-Carrión, A. Ferrandez-Montero, A. Eguiluz, B. Ferrari, A. Abarrategi, "The Effect of Ca2+ and Mg2+ Ions Loaded at Degradable PLA Membranes on the Proliferation and Osteoinduction of MSCs", Polymers, 14 (12) 2422 (2022) DOI:10.3390/polym14122422

This paper presents a new ion delivery system based on biodegradable PLA membranes loaded with Mg and hydroxyapatite (HA) particles has been processed by the combination of tape casting and colloidal route. Materials characterization shows that the incorporation of Mg and HA particles changes the surface and hydrophobicity of the PLA membrane, and the in vitro degradation test shows Mg2+ and Ca2+ ion release and occasionally the precipitation of different ion species onto the membrane surface. Mouse and human Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSC) were used to define the biocompatibility and bioactivity of these PLA membrane composites, and data indicated Mg2+ promotes cell proliferation and potentiates osteoinductive signals, while Ca2+ induces the expression of ALP osteogenic marker in human MSCs. Biodegradable PLA membranes loaded with Mg and HA particles is a promising new ion delivery system of Mg2+ and Ca2+ ions that provides osteogenic signals and works as functional biointerface interfaces with bone tissues.


25th May. New Paper published. J. Yus, J.A. Escribano, A.J. Sanchez-Herencia, C. Galassi and B. Ferrari "Direct Inkjet Printing of Digitally Designed 2D TiN Patterns", Coatings, 12 (6), 729; DOI:10.3390/coatings12060729

In this work, we prepared TiN suspensions for their implementation in IJP with a nozzle of 70 µm. A complete study of the ink properties was performed to formulate a suitable ink with a high level of dispersion and to evaluate the jetting during the printing process. Moreover, after a sintering process at 1100◦ C under vacuum, a complete hardness analysis of the coated discs was performed, resulting in values ranging from ~4 to 7 GPa, depending on the grid design.


6th May. New Paper published. S.B. Abdollahi Boraei, J. Nourmohammadi, F.S. Mahdavi, Y. Zare, K.Y. Rhee, A. Ferrandez-Montero, A.J. Sanchez-Herencia and B. Ferrari "Direct Inkjet Printing of Digitally Designed 2D TiN Patterns", Nanotech. Rev., 11 (1), 1901 - 1910 (2022) DOI:10.1515/ntrev-2022-0113

In this study, three-dimensional (3D) printing of 3D scaffolds containing halloysite nanotubes (HNTs) and strontium ranelate (SrR) as a carrier for the promotion of bone regeneration is investigated. SrR acts as an anabolic bone-forming and anti-catabolic agent, while HNTs act as a carrier of SrR. Poly(lactic acid) (PLA) is used as a biodegradable matrix and carrier for HNTs and SrR. The effects of the SrR addition on the morphological, biological, and in vitro release properties of the scaffolds are evaluated. The morphological results show a homogeneous structure with a proper pore size (approximately 400 μm) suitable for osteogenesis. The contact angle is decreased after the addition of SrR to the scaffold to 67.99°, suitable for cell attachment. X-ray diffraction shows that the SrR is homogenously and molecularly distributed in the PLA matrix and reduces the crystallinity in the prepared scaffolds. The in vitro release results demonstrate that the release profile of the SrR is stable, relatively linear, and continuous within 21 days (504 h).


3th-6th of May. Meeting. Our group has have a relevant participation in the LXIII National Meeting of the Spanish Ceramic Society (SECV).
- Begoña Ferrari has been member of the Organizing Commitee and organizar of the zero emission event.
- A.Javier Sanchez-Herencia has chaired the symposium "CERAMICS FOR HARMFUL ENVIROMENTS” Sponsored by Hyperion M&T.
- A. Eguiluz presented the Young Ceramic Network in Spain

And we have presented the following works:

Additive manufacturing of TiO2-based porous photocatalytic membranes
Ortega-Columbrans, P., Ferrari, B. and Sanchez-Herencia, A.J

Impresión 3D de materiales cerámicos de alúmina y circona a partir de  suspensiones coloidales
Ana Serrano-Cebrián, Álvaro Eguiluz, Pablo Ortega-Columbrans, Begoña Ferrari, A. Javier

Processing of WC composites with low content of metallic iron and titanium dispersed by colloidal methods
A. Eguiluz, K. Taylor, A. Serrano, B. Ferrari, S. Capp, A. J. Sanchez-Herencia

Colloidal feedstock with a high content of graphite particles for self-supporting 3D oriented conductive electrodes by FFF
Oxel Urra, J. Yus, A.J Sanchez-Herencia, B.Ferrari

New drug delivery and ion delivery systems based on ceramic biocomposites.
A. Ferrández-Montero,  A. Eguiluz E. Vazquez J. D; Guerrero S. Retegi-Carrión J.A. Vergara-Arce; A. Abarrategi Z. Gonzalez A.J. Sanchez-Herencia; B. Ferrari.

Ceramic-based 3D scaffolds for biomedical application by FFF using a colloidal feedstock.
A. Eguiluz, A. Ferrandez-Montero, P. Ortega, A.J. Sanchez-Herencia, B. Ferrari


4th MaySecondment. We are glad to incorporate to our team to Hossein Besharatloo, who has achieved a grant Margarita Salas within the CIEFMA-UPC group. This talent attraction grants for Universities include a movility period of a year that Hossein is going to spend with us learning about processing of materials. We expect that the already fruitfull scientific collaboration with CIEFMA will be tighter with this new incorporation.

20th April Short Seminar. Begoña Ferrari has lectured a talk into the regular short seminar called "Ceramic Aperitif". The aim of this seminars is to present a theme in a short time focusing on a general view of the subject. In this issue Begoña has presented the seminar entitled "Colloidal Processing and Additive Manufacturing".
4th April Student Representative. Our PhD student Alvaro Eguiluz has been selected as Spanish Representative of the Young Ceramic Network of the European Ceramic Society substituting to Dr. Maria Canillas. We wish he a lot of successes in this position.


1st March Returing We are happy to receive back to the group to Dr. Ana Ferrandez after spend two years hired by the University of Paris-Cergy in the Laboratory of Physical Chemistry of Polymers and Interfaces. During this time she has been studying different composites for additive manufacturing with electrical excitation for cells growth activation.
She is an excelent complent to all the lines of the group in processing, but specially to the biomaterials one.


25th of January. Interview to Oxel Urra. Our colleague have been interviewed as a Young Researcher in energy devices for the speccial issue for Energy of the magazine "CSIC Investiga. Oxel is performing his pHD in the processing of electrochemical devices by colloidal processing and Additive Manufacturing methods. He has developed conductive filaments with high contents of graphite and graphene for printing 3D structures by FFF. He prints complex structures that later are electrochemically activated by coating with Ni oxides and hydroxides by EPD.

Use this LINK to acces de issue of "CSIC Investiga"


24th of December. Season's Greetings. We wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a Very Happy Year 2022. [Enlarge image].

10th of December. Thesis Defense. Macarena García defended her PhD Thesis entitled: "Aqueous colloidal processing of W and WC-based composites, sintering and mechanical properties at high temperature".

The international evaluation committee was composed by Prof. Ana Senos (CICECO, Univ. of Aveiro, Portugal), Dr. Ana Ferrandez (Univ. Cergy-Paris), Dr. Luis Fernando García (Hyperion M&T), Prof. Elena Tejado (Univ. Politech. Madrid) and prof. Luis Llanes (Univ. Politech Catalunya) who granted thesis report and exposition with the higher score and International mention. Congratulations!!

1st December. Paper Published. J. Yus, Z. Gonzalez, A.J. Sanchez-Herencia, A. Sangiorgi, A. Sanson, C. Galassi and B. Ferrari, "High photocatalytic efficiency of inkjet printed patterns by formulation of eco-friendly TiO2-based inks", Open Ceramics, 8, 100197 (2021). DOI: 10.1016/j.oceram.2021.100197

In this paper it is described the high photocatalytic performances of inkjet printed patterns by a green formulation of water-based suspension that includes commercial TiO2 nanoparticles (NPs). Optimized conditions of the colloidal dispersion and stabilization of TiO2 NPs using diethylene glycol as cosolvent, allowed a constant and homogeneous jetting flow, fitting the surface tension and viscosity values suitable for the piezo-driven technology selected. The nanostructure-based pattern printed with micro-resolution achieved the 90% methyl orange degradation after 9h of light exposition and the 100% after 13h in a stirred tank reactor. Moreover, the reusability of printed patterns has been also proved since they preserve their photocatalytic activity and microstructure after sequential tests. Manufactured patterns presented competitive photoresponses in comparison with others complex formulations based on sol-gel process. This new finding is expected to be particularly useful to industrial fabrication of microdesign and immobilized patters onto different substrates-types.


24th November. Workshop for Young Researchers at the ICV. Six of our students and visitors are presenting today their work at the IX workshop for Young Researchers.

Dafne García-Gilmartín is presenting "3D Printing by Digital Light Processing (DLP) of fotoactive electrodes with mixture of ceramic semiconductors."

Ana Serrano-Cebrián is presenting "3D printing of ceramic parts of alumina and zirconia from slurries

Oxel Urra is presenting “Colloidal feedstock with a high content of graphite particles for self-
supporting 3D conductive electrodes by FFF”.

Alvaro Eguiluz is presenting “Processing of ceramic 3D parts by fused filament fabrication (FFF) by colloidal methods

Pablo Ortega is presenting “Additive manufacturing of self-supported fotoactive electrodes based on ceramic semiconductors mixtures"

and Marco Mariani, from the Polytechnic University of Milan, is presenting “Binder jetting of lead-zirconium titanate”


19th November. Farewell Party. We said goodbye to our recent guest celebrating an Italian dinner. It has been a productive time for Elisa processing nanoparticles, for Siham measuring supercaps, for Marco studying granulation techniques and Elena learning the FFF, that for sure will produce results. We expect to see all of you again, better if sooner than later. Have a safe trip back to Torino, Besançon, Milano and Córdoba.


17th November. Chaired Webminar. Our colleague Begoña Ferrari has co-chaired the ECI Webinar: "Electrophoretic Deposition: Fundamentals and Applications" with the participation of some of the most relevant researches in the area.

As the in-person international conference "Electrophoretic Deposition VII: Fundamentals and Applications" (EPD 2022) has been rescheduled to October 30 – November 3, 2022 in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA. the webminar is to highlight the vast research activities in EPD and the continuous and increasing interest in the field.

Webminar has been chaired by Prof. Aldo R. Boccaccini and other co-chairs have been Dr. Andrew Pascall and Dr. Tetsuo Uchikoshi



20th October. Student Contest. Our colleague Álvaro Eguiluz has represented Spain in the Student Contest of ECERS. The contest joins PhD from all the Ceramic Societies that compose ECERS. He qualified as reprentant when he won the Student Contest in the last biennal meeting of the Spanish Ceramic Society.

He is presenting the recent advances on rheology of ceramic pastes and metal ceramics to fabricate filaments of PLA/Ti(CN)+Ni that could be printed in 3D printers by Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF or FDM).


20th September. Invited Conference. Our colleague Begoña Ferrari has presented an invited lecture about Additive Manufacturing of Ceramics in the Workshop on Additive Manufacturing: Applications and Innovations, chaired by Prof. Paula Vilarinho. The Workshop was organized by the Portuguese Society of Materials and supported by JECS Trust. The aim of this workshop was "sharing knowledge on AM to educate and cross-pollinate ideas to feed the industrial implementation of AM in the ceramics sector". In our Channel of Youtube you can access to this presentation.

Our Spin-off COLFEED4Print sponsored the Workshop and the co-funder Ana Ferrandez presented the patented technology for the fabrication of printable filaments with inorganic loads and the products that COLFEED4Print have developed.

22nd August. Paper published. A. J. Sanchez-Herencia, Z. Gonzalez, A. Rodriguez, E. Molero and B. Ferrari, "Operational Variables on the Processing of Porous Titanium Bodies by Gelation of Slurries with an Expansive Porogen", Materials, 14 (16) 4744 (2021). DOI: 10.3390/ma14164744

In this work disperse and stable titanium aqueous slurries has been formulated in order to process porous materials by the incorporation of methylcellulose (MC) as a gelation agent and ammonium bicarbonate as an expansive porogen. After casting the slurries and heating at mild temperatures (60–80 °C) the methylcellulose gels and traps the gas bubbles generated by the ammonium bicarbonate decomposition to finally obtain stiff porous green structures. Using an experimental design method, the influence of the temperature as well as the concentration of gelation agent and porogen on the viscosity, apparent density and pore size distribution is analyzed by a second-order polynomial function in order to identifying the influence of the operating variables in the green titanium porous compact. After sintering at 1100 °C under high vacuum, titanium sponges with 39% of open porosity and almost no close porosity were obtained.


1st & 27th July. Congratulations to Ania Rodrígue and Sara Temiño for the outstanding results they have got defending their Final Degree Projects at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.

Ania has been working in desing of multilayered functional ceramics by EPD mixing semiconductors of the p and n type. She has studied the processing of ZnO and NiO. Under the generic title of "Desing of Ceramic Multilayers by EPD", she have characterized the UV bandgap of multilayers deposited onto ITO substrates.

Sara has studied the deposition kinetics of polyelectrolites onto a surface by the quartz crytal microbalance. She have also determined the deposition of a BMP-2 protein betwenn layers. It´s work has been has been entitled "Polymeric multilayers formation onto implants to the release of bilogical compounds that stimule the celular response" and has been in colaboration with the Center for Biological Investigations. She has been our first final degree on biotechnology.


30th June. Paper published. N. Alinejadian, F. Nasirpouri, J. Yus and B. Ferrari, "Reduction-based engineering of three-dimensional morphology of Ni-rGO nanocomposite", Materials Science and Engineering: B. 271, 115259 (2021). DOI: 10.1016/j.mseb.2021.115259

Relying on the reduction of oxygenated functional groups of graphene oxide, the engineering of the morphology of Ni-based reduced graphene oxide (Ni-rGO) nanocomposite was carried out via galvanostatic electrochemical co-deposition by changing the current density in a range of 0.001–0.01 A.cm−2 and loading of 2 g.L−1 of graphene oxide. The morphology has been converted to a porous, rough, and three-dimensional (3D) form by significant incorporation and simultaneous reduction of GO into the structure of Ni-rGO nanocomposite film. Study on 3D morphology by SEM, FT-IR, XRD, and Raman confocal spectroscopy approved simultaneously reduction of oxygenated functional groups. Moreover, we have discussed the impact of rGO incorporated in the structure of Ni-rGO nanocomposite onto the creation of porous 3D-morphology and the enhancement of the electroactive specific surface. This new fascinating mechanism and structure can lead to the enhancement of electroactive components in electrochemical sensors and energy conversion-storage systems.



3rd & 16th June. Congratulations to Javier López and Victoria González for the excelent marks they have got defending their Final Degree Projects at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. During the last six months they have being involved in highly innovative research ideas and we have to thanks the amaizing work they made.

Javier has faced the fabrication of MXenes from comertial MAX phases as well as the further stabilization in slurries and processing in layers by electrophoretic deposition (EPD). The title of his work has been "The new graphene: Sinthesis and electrochemical applications of MXenes"

Victoria has being working in characterization of slurries to develop bioceramic materials with complex and small shapes by Additive Manufacturing Techniques. It´s work has been has been entitled "3D Priting by SLA of biomaterials to the manufacture of functional prothesis of small dimensions".

5th May. Paper online . E.M. Garcia-Ayala, S. Tarancon, B. Ferrari, J.Y. Pastor, A.J. Sanchez-Herencia, "Thermomechanical behaviour of WC-W2C composites at first wall in fusion conditions", Int. J. Refract Metal. Hard Mater.. online (2021). DOI: 10.1016/j.ijrmhm.2021.105565

The microstructural and high temperature mechanical characterization of WC matrices with additions of 10, 20 and 50 vol% of W, dispersed by colloidal processing routes and sintered by Spark Plasma Sintering (SPS), is presented. Microstructural analysis shows that sintering process is able to stabilize high temperature W2C phases as a consequence of the additional energy provided. Mechanical resistance of all materials increases as the operating temperature increases. Remarkably great results are obtained for the composition with 30 and 50 vol% of W2C. This macroscopic behaviour has been associated to the microstructural decomposition of the metastable W2C, to WC and W, as temperature for the bending tests approach to the equilibrium temperature (1250 °C). It was found that the presence of metallic tungsten in the final microstructure could be the responsible of the plastic behaviour of the tested pieces at 1200 °C and the doubled value of the toughness.

28th April. Farewell to Joaquín Yus who is leaving our group to join the The Wagoner Johnson lab @University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign to make exciting and impactful research in coral reef restoration. He has to combine the research at Illinois´laboratory with in-field restorations diving in the Curacao. Good luck Joaco and if you need help any for diving in Curasao, please call us.....

20th April. New Picture. After our weekly group meeting we have taken a picture of all the people working with us today, including visitors and undergraduate students. This will be the picture we will use in our twitter and presentations of the group until the next update.

28th March. Published Manuscript . A. Ferrández-Montero, A. Eguiluz, E. Vazquez, J. D. Guerrero, Z. Gonzalez, A.J. Sánchez-Herencia, B. Ferrari, "Controlled SrR Delivery by the Incorporation of Mg Particles on Biodegradable PLA-Based Composites" Polymers. 13 (7) 1061 (2021). DOI: 10.3390/polym13071061

Polylactic acid (PLA)/Mg composites are emerging as a promising family of biomaterials. In these composites, polymer and bio-metal have a synergetic effect—while the PLA inhibits the Mg fast reactivity, Mg provides bioactivity to the inert polymer buffering the medium pH during degradation. Meanwhile, the typical form of administrating Sr2+ to patients is through the medication strontium ranelate (SrR), which increases the bone mineral density. A new group of composites, which integrates Mg particles and SrR charged onto halloysite nanotubes (HNT) in a polymeric matrix, is here proposed. PLA/Mg/SrR–HNT composites have been processed following a colloidal route, obtaining homogenous composites granulated and film-shaped....


15th March. Editorial Board. Our colleague A. Javier Sanchez-Herencia has Joined the Editorial Board of the MDPI Journal "Materials" in the section of "Advanced and Functional Ceramics and Glasses".

Materials (ISSN 1996-1944) is an open access journal providing a forum for publishing papers which advance the in-depth understanding of the relationship between the structure, the properties or the functions of all kinds of materials. Chemical syntheses, chemical structures and mechanical, chemical, electronic, magnetic and optical properties and various applications are considered into the scope of the journal.


8th February. Use of a singular scientific infrastructure Joaquín Yus and Guillermo Frias has been at the Spanish Sycrotron ALBA to performe the synchrotron X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) over NiO and Ni(OH) samples sinthesized in our laboratory and processed by EPD. These studies are to light on the crystallographic characteristics of these materials to better optimize their performance as Battery-like materials for supercapacitor devices. It has been an intese weekend of non-stop measurements. Now it is time to analyze the huge amount of data recorded.

6th February. Accepted Manuscript . A. Eguiluz, A. Ferrández-Montero, J. Yus, A.J. Sánchez-Herencia, B. Ferrari"Dispersion of Ni nanoparticles into Ti(C,N) colloidal filaments for 3D printing by FFF" Open Ceram. online (2021). DOI: 10.1016/j.oceram.2021.100064

This work propose the preparation of filaments for Fused Filament Fabrication with high solid loadings of Ti(C, N), and the incorporation of Ni as nano-binder (nNi) to facilitate the final cermet sintering. With the control of the colloidal dispersion of Ti(C, N) and nNi, only a 3 vol.% of nNi is needed to achieve the adequate sintering effect, providing the consolidated cermet structure with metallic conduction. The colloidal approach to FFF enhances the dispersion of the two inorganic phases within the polymer matrix, allowing high solid contents of the colloidal feedstock.


10th February. New Paper published. Z. Gonzalez, J. Yus, R. Moratalla and B. Ferrari, "Electrophoretic deposition of binder-free TiN nanoparticles to design 3D microstructures. The role of sintering in the microstructural robustness of supercapacitor electrodes", Electrochim. Acta, 369, 137654 (2021). DOI: 10.1016/j.electacta.2020.137654

TiN is herein used as an example to elucidate that a sintering treatment should be considered as a relevant variable to discuss charge storage mechanisms, charge transfer resistances and others important electrochemical aspects of the non-oxidic supercapacitor electrodes. Binder-free TiN nanocoatings with low charge transfer resistance (<2Ω), rapid response with diminutive τ0 (10 ms) and high electrochemical stability displayed competitive capacitance values (120F‧g−1 at 2A‧g−1) as high-performance supercapacitor electrodes. The sintered electrodes finally improve the nanostructure connectivity and preserves the microstructural integrity, reinforcing the adhesion and joining between the collector and the electroactive material. A gradual degradation was observed for as-deposited coatings, leading to capacitance losses during cycling due to the chemical instability of the pre-sintered TiN coatings, while the full-connected electroactive nanostructure resulting from the thermal treatment leads to an enhancement of the electrochemical response. ....


1st February. New Paper published. C. Vega Maeso, G. Gallello, S. Palmero, B. Ferrari, M.A. Sánchez Carro, M.R. González Morales, I. Gutiérrez Zugasti, M. Ramacciotti, A. Pastor, "Ceramic productions and human interactions during the Early Bronze Age in northern Iberia" Archaeometry, 63 (1) 68-87 (2021). DOI: 10.1111/arcm.12605

IThe Early Bronze Age ceramic collection found into the caves of La Llana and El Toral III in Asturias (Spain) presents common decoration such as that found in the centre of Cantabrian Spain from the same period, which resembles others found in the Ebro Valley and Atlantic Europe. Therefore, the main objective of this study it is to identify the raw material origin and understand the pottery production process during the Early Bronze Age in the Cantabrian region. A methodological approach based on the chemical and mineralogical analysis of vessels and experimentally fired clay samples collected all over the centre of this region was developed. Furthermore, the post‐depositional processes affecting the sherds’ composition was evaluated by employing the rare earth elements as markers.


1st February. New Paper published. D. Tovar-Vargas, B. Ferrari, A. J. Sanchez-Herencia, M. Anglada, E. Jimenez-Pique "Low Temperature Degradation and Mechanical Properties of Alumina Reinforced Ceria-Zirconia by Colloidal Processing", J. Eur. Ceram. Soc, 41 (2) 1459-1470 (2021). DOI: 10.1016/j.jeurceramsoc.2020.09.031

In this paper the colloidal processing of alumina particles using modification of the surface charge to avoid agglomerates proved to be a robust route to the obtention of dense alumina reinforced 10Ce-TZP ceramics. Composites of 10Ce-TZP with 2.5, 5, 10 and 15 wt% of alumina were fabricated from slurries with 41 vol% solid load in order to investigate the effects of alumina in the final composites aging and mechanical properties. Grain size reduction for all the composites leads to enhanced mechanical properties in comparison with pure 10Ce-TZP.

The low temperature degradation resistance increases with the alumina additions between 0-15 wt%. Spherical indentations with different loads are presented to investigate the effects of alumina additions into the transformability of the material.....


23rd January. New Paper published. Z. Gonzalez, J. Yus, Y.Bravo, A.J. Sanchez-Herencia and B. Ferrari, "Exploitation of Lignocellulose Fiber-Based Biotemplates to Improve the Performance of an Immobilized TiO2 Photocatalyst" Catalysts, 11 (2), 156 (2021). DOI: 10.3390/catal11020156

The performance of an immobilized photocatalyst has been successfully improved by colloidal processing of a heterostructure composed by TiO2 nanoparticles and lignocellulose nanofibers (LCNFs) obtained from biomass residues. The incorporation of 4 wt.% of biotemplate to the formulation increased the degradation rate and reduced the operating time to remove the 100% of methyl orange of a liquid solution. The reaction rate constant (k = 0.29–0.45 h−1) of the prepared photocatalytic coatings (using commercial particles and templates obtained from natural-derived resources) are competitive with other pure TiO2 materials (no composites), which were prepared through more complex methodologies. The optimization stages of deposition and sintering processes allowed us to obtain homogeneous and crack-free microstructures with controlled thickness and mass values ranging from 3 to 12 µm and 0.9 to 5.6 mg, respectively.....


12th January. Accepted Manuscript . S. Behnam Abdollahi, J. Nourmohammadi, B. Bakhshandeh, M. Mehdi Dehghani, H. Gholami, Z. Gonzalez, A. J. Sanchez-Herencia, B. Ferrari, "Capability of core-sheath polyvinyl alcohol- Polycaprolactone emulsion electrospun nanofibrous scaffolds in releasing strontium ranelate for bone regeneration" Biomed. Mater., online (2021). DOI: /10.1088/1748-605X/abdb07

Core-sheath nanofibrous scaffolds from polyvinyl alcohol (PVA)-strontium ranelate (SrR)- Polycaprolactone (PCL) were prepared by water in oil electrospinning method. Thus, PCL (the oil phase) was used as the shell part and a mixture of PVA and SrR (the water phase) was inserted in the core. The amounts of SrR was varied from 0 to 15wt.% Mussel-inspired dopamine-gelatin coating was done on the nanofibrous to improve their hydrophilicity and cellular attachment. The effect of the SrR content on morphology, mechanical, physicochemical, in vitro release behaviors, and biological properties as well as in vivo bone regeneration was investigated.......


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