Biopolymers Synthesis and Application

  • Emna Chaabouni
  • Fatma Gassara
  • Satinder Kaur BrarEmail author


Living organisms, namely, prokaryotes and eukaryotes, are able to synthesize a variety of polymers, such as nucleic acids, proteins, and other polyamides, polysaccharides, polyesters, polythioesters, polyanhydrides, polyisoprenoids, and lignin. Microorganisms provide a source of biopolymers and biopolysaccharides from renewable sources. Bacteria are capable of yielding biopolymers with properties comparable to plastics derived from petrochemicals, though more expensive. They have the additional advantage of being biodegradable. A wide range of microbial polysaccharides have been studied, and structure/function relationships for a number of these macromolecules have been determined. These biopolymers accomplish different essential and beneficial functions for the organisms. Among the biopolymers produced, many are used for various industrial applications. Currently, the biotechnological production of polymers has been mostly achieved by fermentation of microorganisms in stirred bioreactors. The biopolymers can be obtained as extracellular or intracellular compounds. Alternatively, biopolymers can also be produced by in vitro enzymatic processes. However, the largest amounts of biopolymers are still extracted from plant and animal sources. Biopolymers exhibit fascinating properties and play a major role in the food processing industry, e.g., modifying texture and other properties. Among the various biopolymers, polysaccharides and bioplastics are the most important in the food industry. This chapter will discuss the sources of polymers, their biosynthesis by different organisms, and their application in different fields.


Polylactic Acid Natural Rubber Synthetic Polymer Synthetic Biology Natural Polymer 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors are sincerely thankful to the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (Discovery Grants 355254) and INRS-ETE for financial support. The views or opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emna Chaabouni
    • 1
  • Fatma Gassara
    • 1
  • Satinder Kaur Brar
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.INRS-ETE, Université du QuébecQuébec CityCanada

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