Dependence on petrochemicals derived from oil and gas poses a major problem in the plastics industry and biopolymer production. Establishing suitable alternatives to efficiently produce polymers is a hurdle we want to tackle.
Poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid), PLGA, is a synthetic polymer used in a variety of biological applications due to its attractive properties: (i) biodegradability and biocompatibility, (ii) tailored biodegradation rate (depending on the molecular weight and copolymer ratio), and (iii) amenability to various surface and molecular modifications affording specialized utilization. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves of PLGA derivates as applied in the clinic. Thus, they can be used for the manufacture of surgical tools or as nanoparticles in innovative drug delivery systems.
Our goal is to manufacture PLGA in a more sustainable way, independent from the fossil fuel resources. The required monomers will be metabolized through engineering of the Krebs cycle in both Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Escherichia coli.