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Micromachines 2017, 8(6), 176; doi:10.3390/mi8060176

Hollow Hydrogel Microfiber Encapsulating Microorganisms for Mass-Cultivation in Open Systems

1
School of Integrated Design Engineering, Keio University, 3-14-1 Hiyoshi, Kohoku-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa 223-8522, Japan
2
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Keio University, 3-14-1 Hiyoshi, Kohoku-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa 223-8522, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Fan-Gang Tseng and Kwang W. Oh
Received: 25 April 2017 / Revised: 23 May 2017 / Accepted: 1 June 2017 / Published: 3 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomedical Microfluidic Devices)
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Abstract

Open cultivation systems to monoculture microorganisms are promising for the commercialization of low-value commodities because they reduce the cultivation cost. However, contamination from biological pollutants frequently impedes the process. Here we propose a cultivation method using hollow hydrogel microfibers encapsulating microorganisms. Due to the pore size, hydrogels allow nutrients and waste to pass through while preventing invading microorganisms from entering the microfiber. Experimental cultivation shows the growth of target bacteria inside the alginate hydrogel microfiber during exposure to invading bacteria. The membrane thickness of the microfiber greatly affects the bacterial growth due to changes in membrane permeability. The enhancement of mechanical toughness is also demonstrated by employing a double-network hydrogel for long-term cultivation. The hollow hydrogel microfiber has the potential to become a mainstream solution for mass-cultivation of microorganisms in an open system. View Full-Text
Keywords: microorganisms; mass-cultivation; contamination; open cultivation system; hydrogel; microfluidics microorganisms; mass-cultivation; contamination; open cultivation system; hydrogel; microfluidics
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Higashi, K.; Ogawa, M.; Fujimoto, K.; Onoe, H.; Miki, N. Hollow Hydrogel Microfiber Encapsulating Microorganisms for Mass-Cultivation in Open Systems. Micromachines 2017, 8, 176.

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