Bacterial Exopolysaccharides: Production, Characterization and Formulation of Innovative Materials for High-Value Applications

A special issue of Polymers (ISSN 2073-4360). This special issue belongs to the section "Biomacromolecules, Biobased and Biodegradable Polymers".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (25 January 2023) | Viewed by 6266

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Life Sciences, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, 42122 Reggio Emilia, Italy
Interests: food microbiology; molecular biology; biotechnology; biopolymer; bacterial cellulose; environmental microbiology; acetic acid bacteria; genomics; transcriptomics

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Guest Editor
Department of Life Sciences, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Reggio Emilia, Italy
Interests: foods and beverages fermentation; acetic acid bacteria; biopolymers; bacterial cellulose; valorization of agro-industrial wastes via fermentation
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Guest Editor
Institute of Engineering Materials and Design, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of Maribor, 2000 Maribor, Slovenia
Interests: biopolymers; medical textiles; modification and compounding of nanocellulose of bacterial and plant origin; microstructure; scaffolds; membranes; biomaterials for medicine; composite membranes for fuel cells
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The research of naturally produced polymers for high-value applications, such as biomedical, cosmetics, nutrition, etc., is currently an attractive topic. Bacteria are the main cell factories for producing exopolysaccharides as a principal component of the biofilm matrix. The production of bacterial exopolysaccharides is based on the ability of bacteria in the conversion of a wide range of carbon sources in a large variety of biopolymers, such as cellulose, alginate, hyaluronate, levan and dextran. Exopolysaccharides produced by bacteria are receiving more attention thanks to their unique properties, such as high purity and biocompatibility, making them suitable for a wide range of applications in many fields, ranging from biomedical, such as nutritional, cosmetics, regenerative medicine, to environmental and food applications. The development of bacterial exopolysaccharides and their in situ/ex situ modification strategies, including synthetic biology, are continuously evolving, allowing the formulation of new tailor-made bio-based materials for high-value products.

In this context, the aim of this Special Issue is to explore new advances and challenges in bacterial exopolysaccharide-based materials, focusing on the following topics:

  • Bacterial exopolysaccharides production: description of bacterial species and biological mechanisms for biopolymer production; optimization of culture conditions; formulation of alternative media;
  • Formulation of new bio-based materials: advances in methodologies and strategies for bacterial biopolymer modification using conventional (i.e., in situ or ex situ modification) or innovative approaches (i.e., genetic engineering);
  • Characterization towards specific application niche: chemical-physical, morphological and mechanical characterization, and biocompatibility.

Dr. Salvatore La China
Dr. Maria Gullo
Dr. Selestina Gorgieva
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • bacterial exopolysaccharides
  • carbon source
  • nanocellulose
  • nanocomposite
  • bio-based materials
  • modification
  • synthetic biology
  • biocompatibility

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

15 pages, 1971 KiB  
Article
Sustainable Exopolysaccharide Production by Rhizobium viscosum CECT908 Using Corn Steep Liquor and Sugarcane Molasses as Sole Substrates
by Eduardo J. Gudiña, Márcia R. Couto, Soraia P. Silva, Elisabete Coelho, Manuel A. Coimbra, José A. Teixeira and Lígia R. Rodrigues
Polymers 2023, 15(1), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15010020 - 21 Dec 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2456
Abstract
Microbial exopolysaccharides (EPS) are promising alternatives to synthetic polymers in a variety of applications. Their high production costs, however, limit their use despite their outstanding properties. The use of low-cost substrates such as agro-industrial wastes in their production, can help to boost their [...] Read more.
Microbial exopolysaccharides (EPS) are promising alternatives to synthetic polymers in a variety of applications. Their high production costs, however, limit their use despite their outstanding properties. The use of low-cost substrates such as agro-industrial wastes in their production, can help to boost their market competitiveness. In this work, an alternative low-cost culture medium (CSLM) was developed for EPS production by Rhizobium viscosum CECT908, containing sugarcane molasses (60 g/L) and corn steep liquor (10 mL/L) as sole ingredients. This medium allowed the production of 6.1 ± 0.2 g EPS/L, twice the amount produced in the standard medium (Syn), whose main ingredients were glucose and yeast extract. This is the first report of EPS production by R. viscosum using agro-industrial residues as sole substrates. EPSCSLM and EPSSyn exhibited a similar carbohydrate composition, mainly 4-linked galactose, glucose and mannuronic acid. Although both EPS showed a good fit to the Herschel–Bulkley model, EPSCSLM displayed a higher yield stress and flow consistency index when compared with EPSSyn, due to its higher apparent viscosity. EPSCSLM demonstrated its potential use in Microbial Enhanced Oil Recovery by enabling the recovery of nearly 50% of the trapped oil in sand-pack column experiments using a heavy crude oil. Full article
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12 pages, 3043 KiB  
Article
Candidate Acetic Acid Bacteria Strains for Levan Production
by Kavitha Anguluri, Salvatore La China, Marcello Brugnoli, Luciana De Vero, Andrea Pulvirenti, Stefano Cassanelli and Maria Gullo
Polymers 2022, 14(10), 2000; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14102000 - 13 May 2022
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 3191
Abstract
In this study, twelve strains of acetic acid bacteria (AAB) belonging to five different genera were tested for their ability to produce levan, at 70 and 250 g/L of sucrose concentration, respectively. The fructan produced by the bacterial strains was characterized as levan [...] Read more.
In this study, twelve strains of acetic acid bacteria (AAB) belonging to five different genera were tested for their ability to produce levan, at 70 and 250 g/L of sucrose concentration, respectively. The fructan produced by the bacterial strains was characterized as levan by NMR spectroscopy. Most of the strains produced levan, highlighting intra- and inter-species variability. High yield was observed for Neoasaia chiangmaiensis NBRC 101099 T, Kozakia baliensis DSM 14400 T and Gluconobacter cerinus DSM 9533 T at 70 g/L of sucrose. A 12-fold increase was observed for N. chiangmaiensis NBRC 101099 T at 250 g/L of sucrose concentration. Levan production was found to be affected by glucose accumulation and pH reduction, especially in Ko. baliensis DSM 14400 T. All the Gluconobacter strains showed a negative correlation with the increase in sucrose concentration. Among strains of Komagataeibacter genus, no clear effect of sucrose on levan yield was found. Results obtained in this study highlighted the differences in levan yield among AAB strains and showed interdependence between culture conditions, carbon source utilization, and time of incubation. On the contrary, the levan yield was not always related to the sucrose concentration. Full article
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