Polyesters from Microorganisms

  • Young Baek Kim
  • Robert W. Lenz
Part of the Advances in Biochemical Engineering/Biotechnology book series (ABE, volume 71)


Bacterial polyesters have been found to have useful properties for applications as thermoplastics, elastomers, and adhesives and are biodegradable and biocompatible. Poly(3-hydroxyalkanoates) (PHAs) and poly(β-malate) are the most representative polyesters synthesized b microorganisms. PHAs containing a wide variety of repeating units can be produced by bacteria, including those containing many types of pendant functional groups which can be synthesized by microorganisms that are grown on unnatural organic substrates. Poly(β-malate) is of interest primarily for medical applications, especially for drug delivery systems. In this chapter, the bacterial production and properties of poly(3-hydroxyalkanoates) and poly(β-malate) are described with emphasis on the former.


Bacterial polyester Medium-chain-length poly(3-hydroxyalkanoates) Pseudomonas oleovorans Pseudomonas putida Functional poly(3-hydroxyalkanoates) Short-chainlength poly(3-hydroxyalkanoates) 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Young Baek Kim
    • 1
  • Robert W. Lenz
    • 2
  1. 1.Polymer Science and Engineering DepartmentPaiChai UniversityDaejonKorea
  2. 2.Polymer Science and Engineering Department, Silvio O. Conte National Center for Polymer ResearchUniversity of Massachusetts at AmherstAmherstUSA

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