Description: 280 million tons: it’s the average plastic amount product each year worldwide (what means 8,880 kilograms per second)! 1,000 years: it’s the average duration of a plastic bottle! Up to 450 years: it’s the time needed for the degradation of a plastic bag in the environment. For these reasons, our team thought about working on a biological alternative to the plastic: the PLA!PLA, or polylactic acid, is a totally biodegradable polymer and a thermoplastic. It’s currently used as food packaging but also in other applications such as, for example, the sutures in surgery.PLA has a lot of advantages. Indeed, around 80 days are estimated to be sufficient instead of 1000 years for the degradation of a bottle. Moreover, it has a high rigidity, very good optic properties in terms of transparence and brilliance, good properties of protection against fats, oils and gases (O2 and CO2) allowing it to be intermediate to different mass market polymers and an alternative to the current plastics.Our objective for iGEM 2016, is to produce a significant amount of PLA solely by biological way by using distinct species of bacteria. This will enable an ecological and inexpensive synthesis, just from simple sugars.Thanks to its advantages, the PLA may have to replace all fossil plastics. It is possible to make bottles or other PLA cutlery, but its properties also make it perfect for 3D printers or biomedicine.Indeed, we may also consider using our PLA synthesized to create vesicles for the transport and release of molecules such as drugs in the human body. The PLA is not hazardous to our health, it would be a new application for this compound!Thereby, this process could allow a decrease of the PLA import in France, which would reduce its cost and would give a biodegradable alternative to the use of plastics. Our team project has an economic interest (reduction of importation and costs) but also an ecologic one (biodegradable plastic reducing the plastic pollution).Considering the devastating effects of petroleum-based plastics in the lands, seas and their wild lives, and the fact that their production is increasing, we need sustainable alternatives to maintain our lifestyles without further deteriorate our environment.The bacteria chosen for the bio-production of PLA is pseudomonas putida. Indeed, Pseudomonas putida produce naturally lactate, then we will engineered it for production of lactyl-CoA, and polymerization into PLA. To do that, we will add two enzyme in the pseudomonas plasmid, the first one, is Propionate coA-transferase and the second one is PHA synthase.To follow the bio-production, we are going to use 4 steps fermentation, in the first steps, we will optimize the growth of our bacteria. Then, we will induce the transformation of the lactate into lactyl-coA, after that, we will induce the polymerization and at the last steps, the lysis for the release of PLA.
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Year: 2016Visit Wiki
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Updated at: 8/9/16