Poly((R)-3-hydroxyalkanoate)s (PHAs) are bacterial storage polyesters, currently receiving much attention because of their potential application as biodegradable and biocompatible plastics. Among them are the PHAs from Pseudomonas oleovorans, which are semicrystalline elastomers. Their applicability is seriously limited by their low melting temperature as well as by their low crystallization rate. Both problems were overcome by crosslinking of unsaturated pendent groups, which were incorporated in the polymer by tailoring the carbon source for biosynthesis. Crosslinking was established by electron-beam irradiation and resulted in a true rubber with constant properties over a large temperature range from -20 to + 170°C. Even after crosslinking, the material was still biodegradable. To our knowledge this is the first microbially produced biodegradable rubber
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A biodegradable rubber by crosslinking poly(hydroxyalkanoate) from Pseudomonas oleovorans / G. J. M. de Koning*t, H. M. M. van Bilsen and P. J. Lemstra and W. Hazenbergt, B. Witholtt, H. Preusting and J. G. van der Galii~n // Polymer. – 1994. – Vol 35. – P. 2090-2097.