Enzymatic Hydrolysis of Poly(3-Hydroxybutyrate- co-3-Hydroxyvalerate) Scaffolds

Materials (Basel). 2020 Jul 5;13(13):2992. doi: 10.3390/ma13132992.


Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) are hydrolyzable bio-polyesters. The possibility of utilizing lignocellulosic waste by-products and grape pomace as carbon sources for PHA biosynthesis was investigated. PHAs were biosynthesized by employing Cupriavidus necator grown on fructose (PHBV-1) or grape sugar extract (PHBV-2). Fifty grams of lyophilized grape sugar extract contained 19.2 g of glucose, 19.1 g of fructose, 2.7 g of pectin, 0.52 g of polyphenols, 0.51 g of flavonoids and 7.97 g of non-identified rest compounds. The grape sugar extract supported the higher production of biomass and modified the composition of PHBV-2. The biosynthesized PHAs served as matrices for the preparation of the scaffolds. The PHBV-2 scaffolds had about 44.2% lower crystallinity compared to the PHBV-1 scaffolds. The degree of crystallinity markedly influenced the mechanical behavior and enzymatic hydrolysis of the PHA scaffolds in the synthetic gastric juice and phosphate buffer saline solution with the lipase for 81 days. The higher proportion of amorphous moieties in PHBV-2 accelerated enzymatic hydrolysis. After 81-days of lasting enzymatic hydrolysis, the morphological changes of the PHBV-1 scaffolds were negligible compared to the visible destruction of the PHBV-2 scaffolds. These results indicated that the presence of pectin and phenolic moieties in PHBV may markedly change the semi-crystalline character of PHBV, as well as its mechanical properties and the course of abiotic or enzymatic hydrolysis.

Keywords: degradation kinetics; grape pomace; hydrolysis; mechanical properties; morphology; polyhydroxyalkanoates; scaffolds; thermal properties.