Gino Schiano di Visconte
Geoffrey Pope Building, University of Exeter , Stocker Road, Exeter, EX4 4QD, UK
Exploration of scalable industrial platforms for the commercial production of polysaccharides of biomedical relevance from microalgae.
The current industrial production routes for hyaluronan (HA) leave opportunities for the establishment of improved routes with higher molecular mass, improved biophysical properties, lower costs and non-bacterial nor animal origins as the key unique selling points. At present, incumbent platforms are either based upon Streptococcus spp. bacterial fermentation, modified (GM) Bacillus subtilis or animals. In this Ph.D. project, I will explore microalgae as a non-animal, non-bacterial, non-GM platform for the production of HA and closely related polysaccharides through development of a scalable industrial biotechnology process.
In order to achieve this goal, I have chosen two distinct platforms: the first platform consists of Chlorella variabilis infected by a natural (non-GM), strain specific virus for HA production while the second platform is based upon the exploration of different marine/fresh water microalgal strains naturally producing novel capsular or free released in the medium, polysaccharides with properties similar to HA.