Synthetic Biology and Bioprocess Engineering for High-Value Compounds

A special issue of Bioengineering (ISSN 2306-5354). This special issue belongs to the section "Biochemical Engineering".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 July 2024 | Viewed by 1279

Special Issue Editor

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Guest Editor
Department of Chemical Engineering, Loughborough University, Loughborough LE11 3TU, Leicestershire, UK
Interests: biochemical engineering; biotechnology; systems biology; synthetic biology; metabolic engineering; computational biology; bioinformatics; bioremediation; electro-fermentation; environmental biotechnology
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

High-value compounds such as fuels, chemicals, and materials are the backbone of our modern industry and economy. Ironically, as these compounds are primarily sourced from fossil fuels, their manufacturing, transportation, and consumption have mainly contributed to the unprecedented rise in the global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, resulting in the current climate crisis of global warming and climate change. Thus, decarbonizing the commodity chemical sector is the key to tackling the menacing climate emergency in order to achieve a sustainable, carbon-neutral, or carbon-negative Net-Zero future. The versatility and ingenuity of bioprocesses can play a pivotal role in decarbonizing and transforming the unsustainable commodity chemical sector into a sustainable one. Engineered microbial cell factories or chassis strains can be the main vectors of this transformation, with the potential to produce petro-commodities at scale. In addition, cell-free synthesis systems have gained considerable attention from bioprocess engineers recently due to their relative ease of use without requiring extensive and complicated genetic manipulation of cell-based systems. With the advent of state-of-the-art synthetic biology and metabolic engineering technologies, as well as computational cheminformatics and machine learning tools, it is now possible to produce virtually any commodity using engineered cell factories or cell-free synthesis systems. These systems can use GHGs and other renewable resources, including lignocellulosic biomass, industrial waste gases, and municipal solid waste as raw materials to produce high-value compounds.

This Special Issue aims to assemble and publish a collection of high-quality research articles and review papers on synthetic biology and bioprocess engineering efforts to produce bio-based commodities and healthcare products using both engineered microbial cell factories and cell-free synthesis systems. For review papers, it is advisable to contact the Editor to discuss topic relevance before submitting the manuscript.

Dr. M. Ahsanul Islam
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • high-value compounds
  • microbial cell factories
  • bioprocess engineering
  • synthetic biology
  • metabolic engineering
  • cell-free synthesis systems
  • bio-based commodities

Published Papers (1 paper)

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19 pages, 2302 KiB  
Heterologous Production of Isopropanol Using Metabolically Engineered Acetobacterium woodii Strains
by Franziska Höfele, Teresa Schoch, Catarina Oberlies and Peter Dürre
Bioengineering 2023, 10(12), 1381; - 30 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 926
The depletion of fossil fuel resources and the CO2 emissions coupled with petroleum-based industrial processes present a relevant issue for the whole of society. An alternative to the fossil-based production of chemicals is microbial fermentation using acetogens. Acetogenic bacteria are able to [...] Read more.
The depletion of fossil fuel resources and the CO2 emissions coupled with petroleum-based industrial processes present a relevant issue for the whole of society. An alternative to the fossil-based production of chemicals is microbial fermentation using acetogens. Acetogenic bacteria are able to metabolize CO or CO2 (+H2) via the Wood–Ljungdahl pathway. As isopropanol is widely used in a variety of industrial branches, it is advantageous to find a fossil-independent production process. In this study, Acetobacterium woodii was employed to produce isopropanol via plasmid-based expression of the enzymes thiolase A, CoA-transferase, acetoacetate decarboxylase and secondary alcohol dehydrogenase. An examination of the enzymes originating from different organisms led to a maximum isopropanol production of 5.64 ± 1.08 mM using CO2 + H2 as the carbon and energy source. To this end, the genes thlA (encoding thiolase A) and ctfA/ctfB (encoding CoA-transferase) of Clostridium scatologenes, adc (encoding acetoacetate decarboxylase) originating from C. acetobutylicum and sadH (encoding secondary alcohol dehydrogenase) of C. beijerinckii DSM 6423 were employed. Since bottlenecks in the isopropanol production pathway are known, optimization of the strain was investigated, resulting in a 2.5-fold increase in isopropanol concentration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synthetic Biology and Bioprocess Engineering for High-Value Compounds)
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