Engineering synthetic bacterial lipid rafts to optimise industrial processes

Novel approaches

Rafts4Biotech is a pioneering project that builds upon the discovery of bacterial lipid rafts and exploits them as a biotechnological tool for spatial confinement of reactions of industrial interest.

New products, new services and new business

Introducing the concept of bacterial lipid rafts in biotechnology will foster the industrial application of bacteria and allow the production of a broad range of novel compounds.

Pursuing standardisation

This project will explore different bacterial strains in order to compare and define a standardised microbial chassis to fit industry needs.

Rafts4Biotech will prove the versatility and robustness
of this technology with three study cases

Producing novel antibiotics to fight resistant infections

The emergence of antibiotic-resistant microorganisms that are becoming endemic in hospital settings and threaten our capacity to treat common infectious diseases present a serious concern for Public Health and is causing that many standard medical treatments fail or turn into very high risk procedures.

To meet the current social demand of a new generation of effective antibiotics, Rafts4Biotech will apply the raft technology to the development of high value-added antimicrobials that normally cannot be produced due to their toxicity. This way, Rafts4Biotech will offer brand-new possibilities to fight multi-drug resistant bacterial infections aiming to save many lives and reduce the burden to EU health-care systems.

Implementing biochemical pathways of commercial value

Makeup and hair or skin products are standard cosmetics found in almost every household and they contain molecules like natural pigments and vitamins. Conventionally, these molecules have been produced by chemical synthesis but it often shows low yields and high production costs.

Rafts4Biotech will implement the raft-based technology into the production of vitamins and pigments replacing chemical-based production by sustainable bioprocesses that operate at lower temperatures and require less energy.

Improving microbial chassis to enhance the degradation of pollutants

TCP is an industrial solvent used as a cleaning and degreasing agent. Mainly due to the improper waste management and its high persistence, TCP has become a widespread contaminant of food and drinking water sources. As standard treatment technologies for remediation of TCP are costly and not very effective, biodegradation of these types of pollutants using cell factories is becoming an attractive alternative.

Rafts4Biotech will engineer new microbial chassis, in which TCP degradation is optimised and confined in synthetic bacterial lipid rafts to prevent diffusion of toxic intermediates and protect bacteria from toxic cross-reactions.