Synthesis and Design of a Synthetic-Living Material Composed of Chitosan, Calendula officinalis Hydroalcoholic Extract, and Yeast with Applications as a Biocatalyst

ACS Omega. 2023 Apr 1;8(14):12716-12729. doi: 10.1021/acsomega.2c07847. eCollection 2023 Apr 11.


Design and development of materials that couple synthetic and living components allow taking advantage of the complexity of biological systems within a controlled environment. However, their design and fabrication represent a challenge for material scientists since it is necessary to synthesize synthetic materials with highly specialized biocompatible and physicochemical properties. The design of synthetic-living materials (vita materials) requires materials capable of hosting cell ingrowth and maintaining cell viability for extended periods. Vita materials offer various advantages, from simplifying product purification steps to controlling cell metabolic activity and improving the resistance of biological systems to external stress factors, translating into reducing bioprocess costs and diversifying their industrial applications. Here, chitosan sponges, functionalized with Calendula officinalis hydroalcoholic extract, were synthesized using the freeze-drying method; they showed small pore sizes (7.58 μm), high porosity (97.95%), high water absorption (1695%), and thermal stability, which allows the material to withstand sterilization conditions. The sponges allowed integration of 58.34% of viable Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells, and the cell viability was conserved 12 h post-process (57.14%) under storage conditions [refrigerating temperature (4 °C) and without a nutrient supply]. In addition, the synthesized vita materials conserved their biocatalytic activity after 7 days of the integration process, which was evaluated through glucose consumption and ethanol production. The results in this paper describe the synthesis of complex vita materials and demonstrate that biochemically modified chitosan sponges can be used as a platform material to host living and metabolically active yeast with diverse applications as biocatalysts.

PMID:37065078 | PMC:PMC10099135 | DOI:10.1021/acsomega.2c07847


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