Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) from which pyrogen has been removed are provided for use in numerous biomedical applications. PHAs which have been chemically modified to enhance physical and/or chemical properties, for targeting or to modify biodegradability or clearance by the reticuloendothelial system (RES), are described. Methods for depyrogenating PHA polymers prepared by bacterial fermentation processes are also provided, wherein pyrogens are removed from the polymers without adversely impacting the polymers' inherent chemical structures and physical properties. PHAs with advantageous processing characteristics, including low melting points and/or solubility in non-toxic solvents, are also described. PHAs are provided which are suitable for use in in vivo applications such as in tissue coatings, stents, sutures, tubing, bone and other prostheses, bone or tissue cements, tissue regeneration devices, wound dressings, drug delivery, and for diagnostic and prophylactic uses. Properties which are selected for include degradability, elasticity, inclusion of functional groups or derivatized groups, which can in turn be used to attach targeting agents, and bioadhesion.