Professor Gil Garnier

Professor Gil Garnier

Director of BioPRIA
Department of Chemical Engineering
Room G14, 59, Clayton Campus

Professor Gil Garnier is the Director of BioPRIA within the Department of Chemical Engineering at Monash University. His current research interests are focused on the application of colloids and polymers to surfaces, adhesion, composites, and the process of papermaking.

BioPRIA aims at migrating the Australian Pulp and Paper Industry into Biorefineries. We develop biomedical devices and diagnostic from paper, fine chemicals and advanced materials from wood. We aim at improving life in a sustainable way. Our philosophy is to form close consortia with our industrial partners. At BioPRIA, we develop world-class researchers who are competent, confident and responsible leaders.

At BioPRIA/Monash we are dedicated to developing materials that can first be reprocessed,  then recycled and finally be fully biodegradable for compost at the end of their lifetime. Renewable products without sustainable processes are not of much use. We are therefore engineering systems to fully recycle the process water required to manufacture our new products. These rely on innovative use of evaporator, membrane technology and coagulation.

Research Interests

Prof. Garnier’s research and development activities aim at developing low-cost biomedical diagnostics and implementing Biorefineries. He achieves these objectives by applying the concepts of colloid and surface chemistry, polymer physics, green chemistry, material and process engineering to renewable lignocellulosic materials such as wood and agriculture residues. His activity gravitates around three platforms: 1) Surfaces and Bio-diagnostics, 2) Nanocellulose and Nanocomposites, and 3) Green Chemistry and Sustainable Processes.

Dr Garnier led the initiative with industry partner Haemokinesis in developing GLIF, the first blood typing paper diagnostic, [1-12]. This is now in full commercialization. He and his group are finalizing a paper diagnostic to measure fibrinogen in blood and analyse other health conditions [13-21]. They developed the traditional gel cards for blood typing using nanocellulose gels [22,23]. The group has achieved the “impossible”. In engineering Lasers to incubate blood-antibody for blood typing they have developed a treatment that is much faster and accurate than any current technology and it is now being implemented commercially [24]. The current work to grow organoids from nanocellulose gels is very promising; when successful, this will revolutionize cancer treatment by enabling affordable personal medicine for all.

Dr Garnier has committed to projects that replace oil-based plastics and chemicals by performant polymers and composites made from wood and lignocellulosics. His group leads 5 initiatives: First is the replacement of plastic bags by strong and thin nanocellulose reinforced papers.  Second, is superabsorbent polymer from nanocellulose foam for diaper and food packaging applications [25,26]. Third are nanocellulose hydro-retentor gels for agriculture use; these will keep the soil of Australian farms moist in our new global warming era. Fourth, is the extraction of hemicellulose oligomers from eucalyptus to synthesise bio-sourced surfactants. The last consists of polymerizing lignin oligomers extracted from pine radiata for producing new UV-curable and self-healing coatings. These projects are developed in collaboration with researchers from Monash and abroad.

Research Funds

In partnership with our industrial partners, Prof. Garnier has led two ARC Industry Transformation Research Hubs (ITRH) to migrate the Australasian Pulp and Paper and Forest industries into biorefineries. The ARC ITRH Bioprocessing Advanced Manufacturing Initiatives (BAMI) (2015-2017) developed the concepts of green chemistry from wood and identified the strong potential of nanocellulose manufacture from pulp. ARC ITRH Processing Advanced Lignocellulosics (PALS) (2018-2022) is developing new products for food, industrial and biomedical applications from processing wood, pulp and paper. Working with Haemokinesis, Dr. Garnier’s team has also conceived many new biodiagnostic concepts, now engineered into paper diagnostics and devices. This decade long activity has been supported by two major ARC Linkage grants.


Position and Background

Dr Garnier is the founding Director of BioPRIA, the BioProcessing Resource Research Institute of Australia created in 2013 and based at Monash University. BioPRIA emerged from the Australia Pulp and Paper Institute (APPI) that Prof. Garnier has directed since 2005. Dr. Garnier is also Professor in Chemical Engineering at Monash since 2005. Previously, he was team leader and Research Engineer at Kimberly-Clark (WI, USA) (2000-2005), and Paprican Professor in Chemical Engineering at McGill University (Montreal, Canada) (1993-2000).

Selected References

  1. Khan, M.S., Thouas G., Whyte, G., Shen, W and G. Garnier, “Paper diagnostic for instantaneous blood typing”, Analytical Chemistry, 82 (10), p4158-4164 (2010).
  2. Al-Tamimi, M., Shen, W., Rania, Z., Huy, T. and Garnier, G., “Validation of paper-based assay for rapid blood typing”, Analytical Chemistry, 84(3), 1661–1668, (2012).
  3. Su, J., Al-Tamimi, M. and Garnier, G. “Engineering paper as a substrate for blood typing bio-diagnostics”, Cellulose, 19 (5) 1749-1758 (2012).
  4. Yeow, L., McLiesh, H., N., Guan, L., Shen, W. and Garnier, G. “Paper-Based Assay for Red Blood Cell Antigen Typing by Indirect Antiglobulin Test”, Analytical Biochemistry, Vol 408 19, 5231-5231(2016).
  5. Yeow, N., Tabor, R.F. and Garnier, G., “Mapping the distribution of antigen-antibody interaction forces on individual red blood cells”, Scientific Report, 7, 41956 (2017).
  6. Yeow, N., Tabor, R.F. and Garnier,” Atomic Force Microscopy for Red Blood Cells: From reb blood cell to Immunohaematology”, Advances in Colloids and Interface Science, special Edition, Recent nanotechnology and colloid science development for Biomedical applications, 249 pp 149-162 (2017).
  7. Yeow, L., McLiesh, H., N., Guan, L., Shen, W. and Garnier, G. “Paper-Based Assay for Red Blood Cell Antigen Typing by Indirect Antiglobulin Test”, Analytical Biochemistry, Vol 408 19, 5231-5231(2016).
  8. Huang, Z., Raghuwanshi, V., and Garnier, G., “Functionality of IgG and IgM antibodies physisorbed on cellulosic films: effect of aging and surface chemical composition”, Frontiers in Biochemical Engineering, 5,41 (June 29th)
  9. Raghuwanshi, V., Su, J., Raverty, Garvey, C., W., Holt, S., Holden, P, Gillon, M., Batchelor, W. and Garnier, G., “Visualization and Quantification of IgG Antibody adsorbed at the cellulose-liquid interface”, Biomacromolecules, 18 (8) 2439-2445 (2017).
  10. Huang, Z., Gengenbach, J. Tian, W. Shen and Garnier, G, “The Role of Polyaminoamide-epichlorohydrin (PAE) on Antibody Longevity in Bioactive Paper”, Colloids and Surfaces: B, 158,197-202 (2017).
  11. Henderson, C., McLiesh, H., Then, W.L. and Garnier, G., “Activity and Longevity of antibody in paper-based blood typing diagnostics”, Frontiers in Chemical Engineering, “Sensing MY Biosphere” special topic, Vol 6, article 193, May (2018).
  12. Then, W.L., LI, M., McLiesh, H, Shen, W. and Garnier, G., “The detection of blood group phenotypes using paper diagnostics”, Vox Sanginis, 108, (2), 186-196 (2015). DOI: 10.1111/vox.12195.
  13. Llyza Mendoza, Thilina Gunawardhana, Warren Batchelor and Gil Garnier, “Nanocellulose for Gel Electrophoresis”, JCIS, 540, pp148-154 (2019).
  14. Hertaeg, M.J., Tabor, R.F., Berry, Joseph and Garnier, G., “Dynamics of stain growth from sessile droplets on paper”, JCIS, 541, pp. 312-321 (2019).
  15. Bialkower, Marek; McLiesh, Heather; Manderson, Clare, A.; Tabor, Rico, F and Garnier, Gil, “Rapid Paper Diagnostic for Plasma Fibrinogen Concentration”, Analyst, 144 (16), pp4849-4857 (2019).
  16. Hertaeg, M.J., Tabor, R.F. and Garnier, G., “Effect of protein adsorption on the radial wicking of blood droplets in paper”, JCIS, Vol 528, pp116-123 (2018).
  17. Mendoza, L., Tabor, R.F. Batchelor, W. and Garnier, G., “Gelation mechanism of cellulose nanofiber gels: A colloids and interfacial perspective”, JCIS, 509, 39-46 (2018).
  18. Then, W.L., McLiesh, H., Aguilar, M and Garnier, G., “Duffy Blood Group (Fya & Fyb) Analysis using surface plasmon resonance”, Biomedical Microdevices, 18 (6), p-101 (2016).
  19. Then, W.L. and Garnier, G., “Paper Diagnostics in Biomedicine”, Reviews in Analytical Chemistry. Volume 32, Issue 4, Pages 269–294, ISSN (Online) 2191-0189, ISSN (Print) 0793-0135, DOI: 1515/revac-2013-0007, 2013.
  20. Ngo, Y.H., Li, D., Simon, G. and Garnier, G., “Gold nanoparticles-paper as a 3-dimensional SERS substrate”, Langmuir, 28 (23), pp 8782-8790 (2012).
  21. Ngo, Y., Then, W.L, Shen, W. and Garnier, G., ”Gold nanoparticles paper as a SERS Bio-diagnostic Platform” JCIS, 409, pp 59-65 (2013).
  22. Rodrigo Curvello, Llyza Mendoza, Heather McLiesh, Jim Manolios, Rico F. Tabor and Gil Garnier, “Nanocellulose Hydrogel for Blood Typing Diagnostics”, ACS BioMaterials, May 1 (2019).
  23. Curvello, Rodrigo; Raguwanshi, Vikram and Garnier, Gil, “Perspectives on Nanocellulose Hydrogels for Biomedical Applications”, Advances in Colloid and Interfacial Science, vol 8;267: pp 47-61 (2019).
  24. Manderson, Clare, A.; McLiesh, Heather; Curvello, Rodrigo; Tabor, Rico, F. and Garnier, Gil, “Laser-incubated Immunohaematology”, Scientific Reports, 9(July 22th) (2019). P3 Article in the Herald Sun Sept 20; interview 693AM; article Renter in Health section.
  25. Mendoza, Llyza; Hossain, Laila; Downey, Emma; Scales, Camilla; Batchelor, Warren and Garnier, Gil  “ Carboxylated Nanocellulose Foams as Superabsorbent”, JCIS, 538, pp 433-439 (2019).
  26. Mendoza, L., Tabor, R.F. Batchelor, W. and Garnier, G., “Gelation mechanism of cellulose nanofiber gels: A colloids and interfacial perspective”, JCIS, 509, 39-46 (2018).


Research Experience and Employment History:

2018-present    Director, ARC ITRH Processing Advance Lignocellulosics (PALS), Monash University, Australia.

2014-2017          Director, ARC ITRH Bioprocessing Advance Manufacturing Industry (BAMI), Monash University, Australia.

2013-present     Director, Bioresource Processing Research Institute of Australia (BioPRIA), Monash University, Australia.

2005-present    Director, Australian Pulp And Paper Research Institute (APPI), Monash University, Australia.

2005-present    Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, Monash University, Australia.

2001-2005         Senior Research Engineer, Kimberley-Clark.

1993-2000 Paprican Associate Professor, McGill University, Canada.


  • Bachelors of Engineering (B.E.), Sherbrooke University
  • Masters of Engineering (M.Eng), Sherbrooke University
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Virginia Tech

Research Interests

Gil’s Research Interests include:
Bioactive Paper, Biorefinery, Cellulose Composites, Colloids and Surface, Industrial Water Treatment, Medical Diagnostics, Paper, Polymers, Surface Engineering, Sustainable Processes

Research Projects

Current projects

Leaf Resources - Extraction of silica from rice husk with alkali

Phase 2 of the Leaf Resources project. This stage will compare ammonia, sodium hydroxide and mixed alkali extractions of silica from rice husks.

Super-absorbent solutions: Improving red meat quality

This project aims at significantly improving the appearance, longevity and quality of retail ready red meat by using a renewable, efficient, low cost super-absorbent composite to absorb free blood (drip) released by the meat.

ARC Research Hub for Processing Lignocellulosics into High Value Products

The Hub aims to convert renewable and readily-available biomass material and waste streams from the Australian Pulp, Paper and Forest Industry into new, high-value products that are in high demand in existing and developing markets. The Hub will leverage world-leading Australian and international research capabilities in chemistry, materials science, and engineering to create new materials, chemicals, companies and jobs in an emerging and newly diversified Australian bio-economy. Research will identify new applications and products derived from lignocellulose and will feed the pharmaceutical, chemicals, plastics and food packaging industries.

Novel concepts to engineer low cost blood diagnostics

This project aims to deliver the next generation of on-paper blood diagnostics: cheap, fast, easy to use, reliable, specific and robust. Indirect and weak blood typing will for the first time be possible by the exploration of transformational methods in on-paper and thread-based diagnostics. On-paper testing for fibrinogen to assess clotting capability will be developed, potentially  revolutionising the way massive blood loss is treated. The results of this project will be a new class of on-paper and thread-based diagnostic tests with enhanced sensitivity, readability and lower cost. This has the opportunity for significant impact in trauma, rural medicine and developing nations.

BioProcessing Advanced Manufacturing Initiative (BAMI)

BAMI will develop: 1) functional materials to maximize the value of forest resources 2) green chemistry & energy solutions for bioprocessing industries. Lignocellulosic streams will be converted into a complement of marketable materials, chemicals and energy products. Examples include new polymers and composites, smart packaging, chemical intermediates, fuel, green energy and nanocellulose and cellulosic fibre applications. These will drive advances in chemical engineering, materials and green chemistry for the full conversion of lignocellulosics. BAMI will complement research developments with short courses and a problem-based Masters in BioProcess Engineering to keep industry workers up to date with evolving science and technology.

Past projects

Leaf Resources - Glycell process applied to Australian commercial softwood species


This project was commenced an executed before the development and roll out of PURE.

It has been circulated and approved by head of department and Assistant Dean of Engineering via email chain approval and has been reviewed by OGC and CMO for compliance.

The client contract has been executed with Leaf and is attached.

It has been processed via the CSIRO representative for Government Grants of this nature and they have now provided the Government contract for  execution.

I have now sent the Government Contract to OGC for consideration and execution.

This process in PURE will serve to facilitate the financial admin and MRO registration processes.

I can probably find the email chains with Karen Hapgoods and George Simonds approvals, but the attached executed client contract signed by George should suffice.


Leaf Resources with the assistance of Monash University researchers will run approximately 56 alkali extractions and glycell digestions of rice husks and straw in the air bath reactor at Monash at a;

• Range of alkali concentrations and solids:liquids ratios
• range of temperatures,
• glycerol:biomass ratios,
• acid/base concentrations

Monash will then undertake compositional analysis of resulting solids and liquids, and based on outputs from analysis, subject some of the digested solid matsamples to for enzymatic saccharification of solids.

Low cost cellulosic biomedical diagnostics

Model cellulose surfaces for study of protein/cellulose interactions

Development of enhanced distillation processes for the manufacture of Cyrene

Cellulosic and Paper-Based Biosensors for Blood Analysis

Fluid flow and multi-component fluid separation by capillaries in paper, thread and other porous cellulose materials offer a completely novel platform for rapid forward and reverse blood typing. Further, bio-modification of those materials is expected to offer new, rapid and versatile methods for a range of analyses of blood antibodies. This proposal aims at developing disruptive concepts based on the use of patterned porous cellulosic materials to create novel immuno-haematology diagnostics. The expected outcome of this research will be to generate a class of novel technologies which will significantly improve accuracy and efficiency of immuno-haematological analyses at very low costs.

Facility for innovation in structural biomaterials engineering

The fabrication of smart biomaterials requires a thorough understanding of the intricate interactions at the interface with the biological system. This proposal aims to provide state-of-the-art, high speed microfabrication and characterisation instrumentation specifically targeted at the development of biomaterial structures. The facility will provide a platform for cross-disciplinary teams to undertake a broad range of research programs with applications in tissue engineering, diagnostic devices, drug delivery, stem cell technologies and biological corrosion. The facility will help attract leading researchers to Australia and enhance the national competitiveness on a global stage.

Self Assembling Polymers for Novel Packaging Products

This project will develop and test novel polymer systems as additives for the manufacture of a new generation of paper products with superior strength, especially under high moisture and wet conditions. The challenge is to produce very strong paper packagings made of recycled fibres resisting frequent moisture changes and that remain fully recyclable. Fundamental understanding of the assembling and morphology of polyelectrolyte and polyelectrolyte/nanoparticle complexes in aqueous solution as a function of polymer/nanoparticle chemistry, ionic strength and shear will be developed. The effect of the polymer and polymer complexes on the paper mechanical properties will be modeled under cyclic humidity conditions.

Novel Cellulosic Products and Sustainable Bioresource Engineering

This grant proposes a portfolio of linked projects to transform the Australian paper industry. Methods will be developed to assess industry and product sustainability and compare with competing materials. Chemical and treatment technologies will be developed to improve to radically reduce fresh water requirements for production. Innovative new products will be developed by controlling cellulose interaction with water to resist atmospheric and liquid water penetration, while reducing sheet density. Nano-structured zeolite-paper composites for greenhouse gas adsorption and storage and filtering applications will be developed and deployed for water use reduction. Innovative models will be developed relating structure to performance.

Lignite for sludge dewatering, drying and waste-water clean-up

Research articles, papers & publications

See Gil Garnier’s research contributions through published book chapters, articles, journal papers and in the media.

Last modified: 12/12/2019