Dr Federica Bertocchini, a molecular biologist, working on plastic degradation by biological systems, specialized in insects, visited Campus Energypolis last week and kindly agreed to make a presentation for the Institute of Life Technologies. She introduced the participants to the multiple aspects of her research on polyethylene-degrading larvae of the waxworm Galleria melona, that include fundamental aspects such as the identification and characterization of the polyethylene-degrading enzymes as well as the development of potential applications at large scale for the management of the environmental issues linked to (micro)#plastic contamination. The latter topic led to the creation of a start-up company named Plasticentropy. Discussions have been initiated to assess the potential for collaboration between Dr Bertocchini and the Institute.
The title of her presentation was: Insects and bioremediation : plastic degradation by wax worm PEases
She started to work on insects and their capacity to degrade sturdy polymers and is currently carrying on this line of research at the Plasticentropy Madrid, Spain.