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Medtech Impact on Wellness

Join us as we delve into the fascinating world of biodegradation with Professor Ramani Narayan of Michigan State University, an expert on polymer science and the interaction between microbes and plastics. Discover how bacteria and fungi use carbon as a vital source of food and energy, and what’s stopping them from consuming accumulated environmental plastic waste.

In this episode, we explore:

  • The function of biofilms as microbial habitats versus substrates in biodegradation
  • The complexities of extracting and consuming carbon from common plastic materials — why is it so challenging for bacteria?
  • What influences bacteria to consume one material over another, and the types of chemical bonds they can break down
  • How temperature affects the rate and efficiency of biodegradation
  • The ongoing challenges and innovative solutions needed to scale microbial degradation effectively for environmental impact

Tune in to hear the full conversation and learn more about Narayan’s work at Ramani Narayan | Michigan State University (

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