Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

New biotechnology potential for bacterial components

Biotechnology is advancing speedily, creating new opportunities in a wide array of industrial sectors, through the study and application of living processes and their constituent elements.
New biotechnology potential for bacterial components
Bacterial cells have been used for a variety of biotechnological functions varying from fermentation to biomedical processes and wastewater treatment. Recently a Spanish-based research group identified a group of bacteria expressing a newly discovered series of extracellular polysaccharides (EPSs) with potentially useful properties.

EPSs are carried on the external surface of the cells and are responsible for a number of bacterial activities and functions. These newly identified EPSs have already been patented and their stabilising and viscosifying properties render them extremely attractive for use in the food, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries.

Researchers have identified no signs of pathogenicity attributed to these bacterial species and furthermore they are easy to cultivate on low-cost substrates within industrial settings. Chemically, these new EPSs differ substantially from other members of that group of biomolecules discovered to date and that is likely to result in unique sets of properties for these molecules.

Industrial partners from the field of pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and food processing are being sought in order to further analyse these molecules and explore their potential. In addition, the research group is piloting a new technology for a novel application and it is also interested in forming collaborations covering the technical aspect of these.
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