281243 In Situ Characterization of Polyhydroxyalkanoates Using Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy

Wednesday, October 31, 2012: 4:05 PM
Butler West (Westin )
Santanu Kundu1,2, Michael S. Waters3, Irene Calizo4, Angela R. Hight Walker4 and Kathryn L. Beers1, (1)Sustainable Polymers Group, Polymers Division, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Gaithersburg, MD, (2)Dave C. Swalm School of Chemical Engineering, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS, (3)Biomaterials Group, Polymers Division, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Gaithersburg, MD, (4)3. Radiation and Biomolecular Physics Division, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Gaithersburg, MD

Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) are increasingly used in applications ranging from biodegradable packaging to biomedical applications. Different strains of naturally occurring and genetically modified bacteria produce PHAs as energy storage compounds to sustain life through carbon-limited environmental fluctuations.  Optimization of both polymer production and polymer properties, however are limited due to the limitations of traditional characterization techniques such as gas chromatography and transmission electron microscopy to quantitatively determine the presence and composition of PHAs in situ. Here we report the application of surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) for rapid determination of PHA formation within living bacteria Cupriavidus necator, both within a single bacterium and throughout a sizable sample of population permitting evaluations of sample heterogeneity. In addition to rapid determination of presence of PHAs, we can also determine whether the polymer granules inside the bacteria are crystalline or amorphous in nature. This technique not only provides measurement tools for optimizing the production of biopolymers but also can be extended for monitoring the metabolic changes within living bacteria.

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See more of this Session: Structure and Properties in Polymers II
See more of this Group/Topical: Materials Engineering and Sciences Division