The effect of the encapsulation of bacteria in redox phospholipid polymer hydrogels on electron transfer efficiency in living cell-based devices
Development of living cell-based devices holds great promise in many biomedical and industrial applications. To increase our understanding of the process, we investigated the biological and electrochemical properties of a redox phospholipid polymer hydrogel containing an electron-generating bacteria (Shewanella oneidensis MR-1). A water-soluble and amphiphilic phospholipid polymer, poly(2-methacryloyloxyethyl phosphorylcholine-co-n-butyl methacrylate-co-p-vinylphenylboronic acid-co-vinylferrocene) (PMBVF), was our choice for incorporation into a hydrogel matrix that promotes encapsulation of bacteria and acts as an electron transfer mediator. This hydrogel formed spontaneously and encapsulated Shewanella in three-dimensional structures. Visual analysis showed that the encapsulated Shewanella maintained viability and metabolic activity even after long-term storage. Cyclic voltammetry measurement indicated that the PMBVF/poly(vinyl alcohol) (PMBVF/PVA) hydrogel had stable and high electron transfer efficiency. Amperometric measurement showed that the hydrogel could maintain the electron transfer efficiency even when Shewanella was encapsulated. Thus, the PMBVF/PVA hydrogel not only provides a mild environment for long-term bacterial survival but also maintains electron transfer efficiency from the bacteria to the electrode. We conclude that hydrogel/bacteria hybrid biomaterials, such as PMBVF/PVA/Shewanella, may find application in the fabrication of living cell-based devices.
Journal: Biomaterials - Volume 33, Issue 33, November 2012, Pages 8221–8227