AntiBacterial Biopolymers

Description and Advantages

A new class of polythioester (PTE) biopolymer has been developed at the University of Munster, Germany, which could reduce the rate of post-operative infections in surgical implants (Microbiology, 147). Led by Alexander Steinbuchel, researchers grew the bacterium Ralsotonia eutropho in the presence of 3-mercaptopropionic acid or 3,3'-thiodipropionic acid as a carbon source, in addition to fructose and glucoronic acid, and produced a 3-hydroxybutyrate/ 3-mercaptopropionate co-polymer-the first bacterially produced polymer to contain sulfur in the backbone. The inherent anti-bacterial properties of the biopolymers means that they will have significant advantages over hydrocarbon-based polymers, which are susceptible to bio-fouling which can cause inflammation of surrounding tissue and infection.


Trends In Biotechnology, April 2001