Bacterial biopolymers such as bacterial cellulose (BC), alginate or polyhydroxyalkanotes (PHAs) have aroused the interest of researchers in many fields, for instance biomedicine and packaging, due to their being biodegradable, biocompatible and renewable. Their properties can easily be tuned by means of microbial biotechnology strategies combined with materials science. This provides them with highly diverse properties, conferring them non-native features. Herein we highlight the enormous structural diversity of these macromolecules, how are they produced, as well as their wide range of potential applications in our daily lives. The emergence of new technologies, such as synthetic biology, enables the creation of next-generation-advanced materials presenting smart functional properties, for example the ability to sense and respond to stimuli as well as the capacity for self-repair. All this has given rise to the recent emergence of biohybrid materials, in which a synthetic component is brought to life with living organisms. Two different subfields have recently garnered particular attention: hybrid living materials (HLMs), such as encapsulation or bioprinting, and engineered living materials (ELMs), in which the material is created bottom-up with the use of microbial biotechnology tools. Early studies showed the strong potential of alginate and PHAs as HLMs, whilst BC constituted the most currently promising material for the creation of ELMs.
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