Caister Academic Press

Polyhydroxyalkanoate Inclusions: Polymer Synthesis, Self-assembly and Display Technology

Jenny Draper, Jinping Du, David O. Hooks, Jason Lee, Natalie Parlane and Bernd H.A. Rehm
from: Bionanotechnology: Biological Self-assembly and its Applications (Edited by: Bernd H. A. Rehm). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2013)


Biopolyesters are a class of carbon storage polymers synthesized by a wide variety of bacteria in response to nutrient stress. Production of these polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs = polyesters) is catalyzed by PHA synthases, which polymerize (R)-3-hydroxyacyl-CoA thioesters into polyester. There are several different classes of PHA synthases which preferentially utilize different CoA thioester precursors, generating PHAs with varying material properties such as elasticity and melting point. Genetic engineering and growth on varied carbon sources can be used to modify the type of polyester produced. The general biopolyester properties of biocompatibility, biodegradability, and production from renewable carbon sources have led to considerable interest in PHAs as biomaterials for medical applications as well as alternatives to petrochemical plastics. Biopolyesters are generated in the cell as water-insoluble granules coated with structural, regulatory, and synthase proteins. Recently, the natural structure of the granules has been exploited to generate functionalized nanoparticles for use in a wide variety of applications, including bioseparation, drug delivery, protein purification, enzyme immobilization, diagnostics, and vaccine delivery read more ...
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