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Journal for Biophysical Chemistry

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  • Open Access

cBSA-147 for the preparation of bacterial biofilms in a microchannel reactor


Received: 17 May 2010

Accepted: 9 July 2010

Published: 14 December 2010


Whole cells are attractive biocatalysts, particularly if the reaction requires cofactors or involves multiple transformations. Immobilization of the catalyst is often a prerequisite for continuous processes. The highly cationic chemically modified plasma protein bovine serum albumin (cBSA-147) has been applied for the electrostatically mediated immobilization of the planktonic bacterium E. coli BL21 star (DE3), and the resulting biofilms were superior to those formed on poly-L-lysine coated surfaces. The biocatalyst was immobilized in a capillary column (inside diameter of 530 μm and L=30 m) and evaluated in the enantioselective reduction of ethyl acetoacetate to R-(−)ethyl hydroxybutyrate. In continuous operation in the microreactor format, the productivity of the cells was about 30% higher than that determined in a bench-scale fermentation system. This increase is attributed to the improved mass transfer over short geometrical dimensions. The similarity in the results indicates that studies on a biofilm-coated microreactor can be used for the accelerated collection of data for process optimization.