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Characterisation of info-chemical induced EPS from Scenedesmus for sustainable production of bioemulsifiers and biosurfactants

Project: Innovation

Description

Extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) are versatile, natural biopolymers which can be exploited for a wide variety of applications, including anti-adhesives, anti-tumor agents, immune-modulatory agents, antiinflammatories, anti-virals, anti-bacterials, biosurfactants, and bioemulsifiers. Their exact use depends on composition characteristics, which can vary by species, strains and growth conditions. The drive to develop renewable and sustainable non-petroleum, bio-based chemicals and polymers from EPS has recently diversified from a traditional focus on largely bacteria sources to novel sources such as microalgae. Microalgal EPS production offers immense potential and has been linked to diverse biological processes. However, a comprehensive molecular understanding of the production mechanisms is currently lacking.

Moreover, characterising EPS presents analytical challenges, particularly as EPS isolation and analysis are not simple. Lessons from bacteria highlight that methods of isolation and analysis can influence structural and functional properties. In this Business Interaction voucher, we aim to work closely with the industrial partner to leverage their expertise in characterising EPS, our ability to induce EPS production using naturally sourced info-chemicals and increase our understanding of the process using high throughput proteomics and computational modelling.

In order to exploit this sustainable source of EPS, we need to answer the following questions:
(i) What exactly is the composition of the EPS produced?
(ii) How and why is EPS produced in response to info-chemicals?
(iii) How can we increase EPS production?
Short titleSustainable production of bioemulsifiers and biosurfactants
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date2/07/1728/02/19

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ID: 11971760