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Chem Soc Rev. 2009 Aug;38(8):2434-46. doi: 10.1039/b812677c. Epub 2009 May 8.

A microbial polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) based bio- and materials industry.

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Dept Biological Sciences and Biotechnology, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China.


Biopolyesters polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) produced by many bacteria have been investigated by microbiologists, molecular biologists, biochemists, chemical engineers, chemists, polymer experts and medical researchers. PHA applications as bioplastics, fine chemicals, implant biomaterials, medicines and biofuels have been developed and are covered in this critical review. Companies have been established or involved in PHA related R&D as well as large scale production. Recently, bacterial PHA synthesis has been found to be useful for improving robustness of industrial microorganisms and regulating bacterial metabolism, leading to yield improvement on some fermentation products. In addition, amphiphilic proteins related to PHA synthesis including PhaP, PhaZ or PhaC have been found to be useful for achieving protein purification and even specific drug targeting. It has become clear that PHA and its related technologies are forming an industrial value chain ranging from fermentation, materials, energy to medical fields (142 references).

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