In the RevoluZion project, one of the main objectives is the development of protectant systems based on biopolymers (such as polyhydroxyalkanoates or PHAs, and bacterial cellulose) for controlling activity and increasing stability of biopolyester degrading enzymes. To this end, the Polymer Biotechnology group (POLYBIO) of the Biological Research Center “Margarita Salas” (CIB-CSIC) is using different enzymatic immobilization approaches such as binding or entrapment in supports, or encapsulation using emulsions; allowing the co-immobilization of various enzymatic activities.
Thus, PHAs with different monomeric compositions and thermal and mechanical properties are being evaluated to obtain diverse enzymatic additives. In addition, functionalized hydrolytic enzymes with adhesion peptides from phasins (amphipathic proteins associated to intracellular PHA granules) can be used in order to improve their binding to different types of PHA.
In this sense, the developed enzymatic additives could be included during the industrial production of different bioplastic formulations, withstanding extreme processing conditions and allowing programmed release of hydrolytic enzymes under certain environmental conditions. This will enable in situ degradation of bioplastics at their end-of-life and will avoid cross contamination with other conventional recyclable plastics.