Due to increasing environmental concerns related to consumer products together with demand from the biomedical industry for novel materials with sophisticated properties, the global biopolymers market has been rapidly growing. Even well-developed market segments like starch-based or Polylactic Acid (PLA) biopolymers are poised for higher growth due to the increasing industry demand and recent technological advancements made in production and polymer properties research. This Sc-Mind offering will investigate the science and business of Biopolymers by exploring aspects of product life cycles, bio-based vs. petroleum based polymers, and global health and toxicology regulations. Top academic and industry experts from across the commodity plastics, medical applications, additives and other industry fields will provide you with a global view of the current issues and hot topics, as well as a detailed understanding of the most relevant chemical processes.

Outcomes and Goals

At the end of this 4-week course, you should be able to:

  • Examine differences and similarities of biopolymer issues in medical and commodities industry applications
  • Explore biopolymer synthesis and polymerization processes
  • Obtain an overview of standards and regulations for biodegradability
  • Investigate biopolymer specific production issues such as fermentation and bio-specific catalysis
  • Discuss aspects of material/physical properties of polymer molecules
  • Survey and discuss the current problems with novel biopolymer feedstock and materials
  • Examine the issues related to biocompatibility

Who Should Attend

  • Polymer chemists from traditional plastics or food science fields looking to move into biopolymers
  • Early to mid-career organic chemists currently working in development of healthcare related products
  • Scientists and chemists currently working with biopolymers and bio-plastics


Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4

Introduction: What is a biopolymer? Science: Properties, Characterization & Biochemical Processes

Medical Applications & Toxicity

Biobased Commodities: History, Challenges, Opportunities & Trends

Lifecycle Assessment of Bioplastics

Customizable Learning Compound

In addition to your assigned 4-week learning solution, you will receive 1 on 1 consultation with a Sci-MindTM curriculum developer who will customize your learning solution to include self-selected content.

Meet our Experts

Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) are a critical part of the Sci-Mind experience and the community learning model. Selected from a variety of industrial and academic sectors, these experts not only provide insight and guidance during content development, but also offer years of expertise and knowledge via informal interaction with you - the learner.

Dr. Sujata Bhatia

MD, PhD, Harvard University

Mateja Dermastia

CE PoliMaT

Ann Fornof


Rich Gross


Dr. Roya Khalil, FAIP

PhD (Chemical Engineering - Polymers), SPC Ardmona (Food Division of Coca Cola Amatil)

Tim Long

PhD, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Pat Smith

Michigan Molecular Institute

Mike Tolinski

Author of Plastics and Sustainability

John Williams

Sinvestec LLC

If you are interested in becoming involved in Sci-Mind™ as a content contributor or subject matter expert, please contact us.

To see how Sci-Mind™ works and to get answers to some basic questions, see our How Sci-Mind™ Works page. If you have questions email us or call 202-872-4508.