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Advanced “Green” Prebiotic Composite of Bacterial Cellulose/Pullulan Based on Synthetic Biology-Powered Microbial Coculture Strategy

Bacterial cellulose (BC) is a biopolymer produced by different microorganisms, but in biotechnological practice, Komagataeibacter xylinus is used. The micro- and nanofibrillar structure of BC, which forms many different-sized pores, creates prerequisites for the introduction of other polymers into it, including those synthesized by other microorganisms. The study aims to develop a cocultivation system of BC and prebiotic producers to obtain BC-based composite material with prebiotic activity. In this study, pullulan (PUL) was found to stimulate the growth of the probiotic strain Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG better than the other microbial polysaccharides gellan and xanthan. BC/PUL biocomposite with prebiotic properties was obtained by cocultivation of Komagataeibacter xylinus and Aureobasidium pullulans, BC and PUL producers respectively, on molasses medium. The inclusion of PUL in BC is proved gravimetrically by scanning electron microscopy and by Fourier transformed infrared spectroscopy. Cocultivation demonstrated a composite effect on the aggregation and binding of BC fibers, which led to a significant improvement in mechanical properties. The developed approach for “grafting” of prebiotic activity on BC allows preparation of environmentally friendly composites of better quality.

Publication date: 08/08/2022

Author: Sirina Zhantlessova

Reference: doi: 10.3390/polym14153224

MDPI (polymers)


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 870292.