Certain bacteria produce cellulose strands and can build biofilms and complex structures in foods and other fluids. Little is known about why they make these materials and how to control their production for commercial use. The biodegradability of bacterial cellulose makes it a great candidate to replace many commercial polymeric materials in a number of systems.
This project will study the production and variations in the properties of bacterial cellulose in order to develop a commercially viable process for scale-up and application as a food and consumer product additive.
- create unique cultures of cellulose-producing bacteria in microfluidic cells
- develop a commercially viable process for scale-up and application as a product additive
- manipulate the bacterial environment to produce unique, valuable cellulose structures