Biofilm reactors as a promising method for vitamin K (menaquinone-7) production

Ehsan Mahdinia, Ali Demirci, Aydin Berenjian

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Menaquinone-7 (MK-7) is the most potent subtype of vitamin K with extraordinarily high half-life in the circulatory system. Therefore, MK-7 plays a critical role in promoting human wellbeing today. Studies on MK-7 every year show more and more magnificent benefits of it in preventing cardiovascular diseases and osteoporosis to battling cancer cells, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Thus, it needs to be supplemented to daily diet for accumulative and long-term benefits. Chemical synthesis of MK-7 produces a significant cis-isomer form of it, which has no biological activity. Fortunately, due to its key role in electron transfer in bacteria, trans-MK-7 is biosynthesized by especially Gram-positive strains mainly Bacillus genus. Concordantly, MK-7 could be produced via solid or liquid state fermentation strategies. In either regime, when static fermentation is applied in the absence of agitation and aeration, operational issues arise such as heat and mass transfer inefficiencies. Thus, scaling up the process becomes a challenge. On the other hand, studies have indicated that biofilm and pellicle formation that occur in static fermentations are key characteristics for extracellular MK-7 secretion. Therefore, this review covers the most recent discoveries of the therapeutic properties of MK-7 and optimization attempts at increasing its biosynthesis in different media compositions and effective growth parameters as well as the cutting-edge use of biofilm reactors where B. subtilis cells have the infrastructures to form mature biofilm formations on plastic composite supports. Biofilm reactors therefore can provide robust extracellular MK-7 secretion while simultaneously enduring high agitation and aeration rates, which then address the scale-up and operational issues associated with static fermentation strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5583-5592
Number of pages10
JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 20 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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