ICNF 2023 - 6th International Conference on Natural Fibers

Diana P. Ferreira

Diana P. Ferreira

 Next generation of sustainable natural fibers: Exploring innovative and multifunctional fibers at macro, micro, and nanoscale  


Centre for Textile Science and Technology (2C2T) of the School of Engineering of Minho University, Portugal.



Diana P. Ferreira is a Researcher at the Centre for Textile Science and Technology (2C2T) of the School of Engineering of Minho University since 2017. She finished her Ph.D. in Chemistry in 2016 at Técnico Lisbon, University of Lisbon. The research interests are focused on using sustainable chemistry to develop smart and innovative materials. Namely, the development of natural-based fibers (especially using electrospinning and wet-spinning techniques) and in the synthesis of nanomaterials. She is focused on the application of this knowledge in different areas including photodynamic therapy of cancer, wound dressing systems, localized drug delivery systems, multifunctional textiles, smart textiles, and personal protective equipment for chemical and biological protection, among others. Diana is the Coordinator of several academic research projects, projects in collaboration with companies, and a Professor of Textile Chemistry and Textile Materials.

Diana is a supervisor of Ph.D. and Master's students, has published almost 60 original peer-reviewed papers, presented over 70 national and international communications, and has written 2 book chapters and 1 book. She is a guest editor of several journals and part of the Scientific Committee of International Conferences. Her work has been cited nearly 1000 times and she has an h-index of 19.  Member of the Board of 2C2T Research Centre, Coordinator of Fibrous Materials Research Line, and Member of Coordination Board of the Doctoral Program in Textile Engineering.


Natural fibers, including cellulosic, protein, and mineral fibers are collected directly from nature and are considered eco-friendly materials. Compared with synthetic fibers, they present numerous advantages, including high abundance, low cost, biodegradability, biocompatibility, low weight, and relatively good mechanical properties.

Nowadays, due to great advances in spinning techniques and experimental procedures, it is also possible to develop innovative natural fibers using natural compounds and residues from natural sources. The latest trend in nanotechnology to produce new fibers is electrospinning. Electrospun Nanofibers (Nfbs) have been extensively investigated for biomedical applications because they exhibit a similar microstructure to that of the extracellular matrix, and they can mimic the biological microenvironment as well. Polymeric Nfbs also present high surface area, and high porosity with interconnectivity which promotes cell adhesion, proliferation, drug delivery, and mass transport properties. Wet spinning is also an excellent technique to achieve fibers at the micro-scale with different functionalities depending on the polymeric formulation under use. One of the main advantages of using techniques such as electrospinning or wet-spinning to produce new fibers is the versatility of the polymeric formulations that can be used. Thereby, both natural and biodegradable commercial polymers can be used as well as those extracted from various sources, including algae and textile industry residues. Alginates and an infinite diversity of bioactive components can be extracted from algae. From textile industry-based residues, mainly cellulose nanocrystals can be extracted in order to be incorporated into the polymeric formulations. Several other examples could be highlighted; however, the main purpose is always to target a combination of (bio)active compounds with natural/biodegradable polymers, as an emerging strategy to produce a range of multifunctional innovative fibrous materials.







Abstract submission

31st January 2023

17th February 2023

Communication of acceptance

17th February 2023

Early Bird registration

28th February 2023

17th March 2023

Award Application

15th May 2023