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Materials 2009, 2(3), 1104-1126; doi:10.3390/ma2031104

Biodegradability of Poly(hydroxyalkanoate) Materials

1 Department of Biomedical Engineering, Tufts University / 4 Colby Street, Medford, MA 02155, USA 2 Chemical Analysis Team, RIKEN Advanced Science Institute/ Hirosawa 2-1, Wako-shi, Saitama 351-0198, Japan 3 Department of Biomaterial Sciences, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo / 1-1-1 Yayoi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8657, Japan
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 July 2009 / Revised: 19 August 2009 / Accepted: 24 August 2009 / Published: 28 August 2009
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradability of Materials)
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Poly(hydroxyalkanoate) (PHA), which is produced from renewable carbon resources by many microorganisms, is an environmentally compatible polymeric material and can be processed into films and fibers. Biodegradation of PHA material occurs due to the action of extracellular PHA depolymerase secreted from microorganisms in various natural environments. A key step in determining the overall enzymatic or environmental degradation rate of PHA material is the degradation of PHA lamellar crystals in materials; hence, the degradation mechanism of PHA lamellar crystals has been studied in detail over the last two decades. In this review, the relationship between crystal structure and enzymatic degradation behavior, in particular degradation rates, of films and fibers for PHA is described.
Keywords: poly(hydroxyalkanoate) (PHA); biodegradation; PHA depolymerase poly(hydroxyalkanoate) (PHA); biodegradation; PHA depolymerase
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Numata, K.; Abe, H.; Iwata, T. Biodegradability of Poly(hydroxyalkanoate) Materials. Materials 2009, 2, 1104-1126.

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