E for EARTH

Hyaluronic Acid from Lactococcus lactis

STEAMindiaReports

Hyaluronic acid is an important component of articular cartilage, where it is present as a coat around each cell, in the extracellular matrix in tissues. It is used in many medical preparations today.

Most commercially manufactured hyaluronic acid comes from Streptococcus zooepidemicus, a known pathogen. Recently, scientists from the IIT Madras reported overcoming this threat.

Guhan Jayaraman and his team at the Department of Biotechnology, IIT Madras metabolically engineered Lactococcus lactis, the bacterium that ferments milk sugar to lactic acid, to produce hyaluronic acid.

512px-Lactococcus_lactis,_scanning_electron_micrograph Color-enhanced image of Lactococcus lactis – Kenneth Todar, PhD        CC BY 4.0

Can this be used in biological implants?

“Hyaluronic acid from the bacterial fermentation of  L. lactis is bio-compatible”, says Vignesh Muthuvijayan, IIT Madras.

The team chemically cross-linked the hyaluronic acid on hydrolyzed polyethylene terephthalate, commonly known as PET. PET is bio-compatible and does not generate immune reactions. So, it can…

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