Group Leader/s



The problem of environmental pollution generated by the massive use of plastic materials derived from the petrochemical industry has attracted much interest in the implementation of sustainable processes, involving the use of biomass derived from waste to generate alternative materials (bioplastics) to these high consumption products. Although our projects involve several polymers of biotechnological interest like bacterial nanocellulose, many of our research activities focus on the production of bacterial polyesters or polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA), which are considered one of the most promising bioplastics due to their biodegradable character. Our designs are based on the use of industrial and urban biowastes such as glycerol, fatty residues or synthetic gas (syngas) as sources for the bacterial fermentation. Both natural-producing bacteria, such as Pseudomonas putida and Rhodospirillum rubrum, as well as genetically optimized microorganisms, are considered in these processes. We invest our effort in studying the metabolic and regulatory networks in producing microorganisms and others sharing their natural environment such as predatory bacteria like Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus. We apply our findings in the production of new materials including the second generation functionalized PHA with new properties (e.g. anti-microbial), and susceptible to chemical modification after its biosynthesis. In addition, we are very interested in the design and development of new downstream systems to process the bacterial biomass for the separation of intracellular bioproducts. In this aspect, we use different strategies to control the release of bioproducts to the extracellular medium as controlled self-cell-disruption systems based on the production of lytic proteins in the producer microorganism. Finally, we are working on the identification and characterization of enzymes for synthesis and biodegradation of materials, as well as the production of building blocks as monomers for polymer synthesis.



Project: SYNPOL - Biopolymers from syngas fermentation

Funding entity: EU-FP7-KBBE-2012-6

Reference: 311815

Principle investigator: Mª Auxiliadora Prieto Jiménez

Duration: 2012 - 2016


Project: Integración de agentes líticos de origen biológico en el diseño de nuevos métodos de “downstream” para la producción de bioplásticos.

Funding entity: MINECO

Reference: BIO2013-44878-R

Principle investigator: Mª Auxiliadora Prieto Jiménez

Duration: 2014 - 2017


Project: Revalgas - Revalorización del gas de síntesis (syngas) mediante fermentación bacteriana

Funding entity: Retos Colaboración

Reference: RTC-2014-1764-3

Coordinador: Abengoa Research

Principle investigator: Elena Puerta-Fernández

Duration: 2014 - 2016


Project: nanoBIOSOMA - Diseño, desarrollo y producción de nanocontenedores y nanovehículos

Funding entity: CAM

Reference: P2013/MIT2807

Coordinator: José María Valpuesta

Principle investigator: Mª Auxiliadora Prieto Jiménez

Duration: 2014 - 2018


Project: P4SB – From plastic waste to plastic value using Pseudomonas putida Synthetic Biology

Funding entity: EU-H2020-LEIT-BIO-2014-1

Reference: 633962

Principle investigator: Mª Auxiliadora Prieto Jiménez

Duration: 2015 - 2019


Acciones de dinamización "Redes de excelencia": Convocatoria 2014.

Bacfitered - Red de excelencia para la explotación de bacterias con fines terapéuticos

Funding entity: MINECO

Reference: SAF2014-56716-REDT

Investigador principal: Esteban Veiga Chacon


Project Retos-Colaboración: "Producción de bioproductos a través de residuos alimentarios".

Funding entity: MINECO, Cofinanciado UE, FONDOS FEDER

Reference: RTC-2015-3825-5

Principle investigator: Mª Auxiliadora Prieto

Coordinator: Biopolis S.L.

Participating entities: Biopolis S.L., DACSA (Maicerías Españolas S.A.), GAIKER Centro Tecnológico, CIB-CSIC

Duration: 2014 - 2017


Project “Explora Ciencia” y “Explora Tecnologia” recientemente concedido: "Antibióticos vivos frente a patógenos intracelulares”.

Reference: BIO2014-61515-EXP

Funding entity: MINECO

Principle investigator: Mª Auxiliadora Prieto Jiménez

Duration: 2015 - 2017


Project: CELBICON - Cost-effective CO2 conversion into chemicals via combination of capture, electrochemical and biochemical conversion technologies

Funding entity: EU- H2020-ISIB-2015-2

Reference: 679050

Principle investigator: Mª Auxiliadora Prieto Jiménez

Duration: 2016 - 2019


Project: REFUCOAT - Full recyclable food package with enhanced gas barrier properties and new functionalities by the use of high performance coatings

Funding entity: EU- H2020-BBI-JTI-2016-R05

Reference: 745791

Principle investigator: Mª Auxiliadora Prieto Jiménez

Duration: 2017 - 2020


Project: AFTERLIFE - Advanced filtration technologies for the recovery and later conversion of relevant fractions from wastewater

Funding entity: EU- H2020-BBI-JTI-2016-R01

Reference: 745737

Principle investigator: Mª Auxiliadora Prieto Jiménez

Duration: 2017 - 2021


Project: ENGICOIN - Engineered microbial factories for CO2 exploitation in an integrated waste treatment platform

Funding entity: EU- H2020-NMBP-BIO-2017

Reference: 760994

Principle investigator: Mª Auxiliadora Prieto Jiménez

Duration: 2018 - 2021


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