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Journal for Biophysical Chemistry

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


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.


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Correspondence to Stephan Jaenicke or Tanja Weil.

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This paper is part of an In Focus section on Biointerphase Science in Singapore, sponsored by Bruker Optik Southeast Asia, IMRE, the Provost's Office and School of Materials Science and Engineering of Nanyang Technological University, and Analytical Technologies Pte Ltd.

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Ng, J.F., Jaenicke, S., Eisele, K. et al. cBSA-147 for the preparation of bacterial biofilms in a microchannel reactor. Biointerphases 5, FA41–FA47 (2010).

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