Special Issue "Nanostructured Biofuel Cells"

A special issue of Nanomaterials (ISSN 2079-4991).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2017)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Lital Alfonta

Department of Life Sciences and Ilse Katz Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva 84105, Israel
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +972-8-6479066
Fax: +972-8-647957
Interests: bioelectrochemistry; synthetic biology; genetic code expansion; biosensing and biofuel cells

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Biofuel cells are energy producing devices, were the catalysts are, in fact, biocatalysts that may be used both at the anode and at the cathode of such devices, while the biofuel is made of organic molecules (either simple monomers or more complex carbohydrates). Biocatalysts may vary between a single type of enzyme to whole enzymatic cascades or a whole microorganism/tissue. However, these biological entities are required to communicate efficiently with inorganic materials; electrodes, in order to constitute an efficient biofuel cell device. Ever since the first enzyme-based biofuel cell device was built in 1964, efforts have been underway to improve the interface between biological molecules/organisms and electrodes. Many advancements have been made in the past few decades towards this end, involving materials and matrices that were later coined “nanomaterials”.

This Special Issue of Nanomaterials will attempt to cover the recent advancements in the nanostructuring of materials to afford superior interfaces between biomolecules and electrodes in biofuel cells.

Prof. Dr. Lital Alfonta
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • biocathodes, bioanodes
  • enzyme based fuel cells
  • microbial fuel cells
  • nanostructured interface, wiring, power output
  • implantable biofuel cells

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Flotation Assembly of Large-Area Ultrathin MWCNT Nanofilms for Construction of Bioelectrodes
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(10), 342; doi:10.3390/nano7100342
Received: 1 October 2017 / Revised: 18 October 2017 / Accepted: 19 October 2017 / Published: 21 October 2017
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Abstract
We report a simple, versatile, and rapid method for the fabrication of optically-transparent large-area carbon nanotube (CNT) films via flotation assembly. After solvent-induced assembly, floating films were transferred to a flat supporting substrate to form conductive and transparent CNT film electrodes. The resulting
[...] Read more.
We report a simple, versatile, and rapid method for the fabrication of optically-transparent large-area carbon nanotube (CNT) films via flotation assembly. After solvent-induced assembly, floating films were transferred to a flat supporting substrate to form conductive and transparent CNT film electrodes. The resulting electrodes, with uniform 40 ± 20 nm multi-walled CNT (MWCNT) layers, were characterized by electrochemical and microscopy methods. The flotation method does not require specialized thin-film instrumentation and avoids the need for surfactants and pre-oxidized CNTs which can hamper electrochemical performance. A proof-of-concept nanostructured bioelectrode demonstrating high sensitivity for glucose was developed with an electropolymerized poly(pyrene-adamantane) layer for host–guest immobilization of active β-cyclodextrin tagged GOx enzymes. The polymer provides pyrene groups for cross-linking to CNTs and pendant adamantane groups for binding the β-cyclodextrin groups of the tagged enzyme. This demonstration offers a new approach for the preparation of stable and transparent CNT film electrodes with attractive electrochemical properties towards future photobio- and bio-electrochemical fuel cells, electrochemical sensors, and electroanalysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanostructured Biofuel Cells)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle The Electrosome: A Surface-Displayed Enzymatic Cascade in a Biofuel Cell’s Anode and a High-Density Surface-Displayed Biocathodic Enzyme
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(7), 153; doi:10.3390/nano7070153
Received: 1 May 2017 / Revised: 12 June 2017 / Accepted: 20 June 2017 / Published: 23 June 2017
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Abstract
The limitation of surface-display systems in biofuel cells to a single redox enzyme is a major drawback of hybrid biofuel cells, resulting in a low copy-number of enzymes per yeast cell and a limitation in displaying enzymatic cascades. Here we present the electrosome,
[...] Read more.
The limitation of surface-display systems in biofuel cells to a single redox enzyme is a major drawback of hybrid biofuel cells, resulting in a low copy-number of enzymes per yeast cell and a limitation in displaying enzymatic cascades. Here we present the electrosome, a novel surface-display system based on the specific interaction between the cellulosomal scaffoldin protein and a cascade of redox enzymes that allows multiple electron-release by fuel oxidation. The electrosome is composed of two compartments: (i) a hybrid anode, which consists of dockerin-containing enzymes attached specifically to cohesin sites in the scaffoldin to assemble an ethanol oxidation cascade, and (ii) a hybrid cathode, which consists of a dockerin-containing oxygen-reducing enzyme attached in multiple copies to the cohesin-bearing scaffoldin. Each of the two compartments was designed, displayed, and tested separately. The new hybrid cell compartments displayed enhanced performance over traditional biofuel cells; in the anode, the cascade of ethanol oxidation demonstrated higher performance than a cell with just a single enzyme. In the cathode, a higher copy number per yeast cell of the oxygen-reducing enzyme copper oxidase has reduced the effect of competitive inhibition resulting from yeast oxygen consumption. This work paves the way for the assembly of more complex cascades using different enzymes and larger scaffoldins to further improve the performance of hybrid cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanostructured Biofuel Cells)
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Open AccessArticle Nanoscale Electric Characteristics and Oriented Assembly of Halobacterium salinarum Membrane Revealed by Electric Force Microscopy
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(11), 197; doi:10.3390/nano6110197
Received: 15 July 2016 / Revised: 28 September 2016 / Accepted: 8 October 2016 / Published: 2 November 2016
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Abstract
Purple membranes (PM) of the bacteria Halobacterium salinarum are a unique natural membrane where bacteriorhodopsin (BR) can convert photon energy and pump protons. Elucidating the electronic properties of biomembranes is critical for revealing biological mechanisms and developing new devices. We report here the
[...] Read more.
Purple membranes (PM) of the bacteria Halobacterium salinarum are a unique natural membrane where bacteriorhodopsin (BR) can convert photon energy and pump protons. Elucidating the electronic properties of biomembranes is critical for revealing biological mechanisms and developing new devices. We report here the electric properties of PMs studied by using multi-functional electric force microscopy (EFM) at the nanoscale. The topography, surface potential, and dielectric capacity of PMs were imaged and quantitatively measured in parallel. Two orientations of PMs were identified by EFM because of its high resolution in differentiating electrical characteristics. The extracellular (EC) sides were more negative than the cytoplasmic (CP) side by 8 mV. The direction of potential difference may facilitate movement of protons across the membrane and thus play important roles in proton pumping. Unlike the side-dependent surface potentials observed in PM, the EFM capacitive response was independent of the side and was measured to be at a dC/dz value of ~5.25 nF/m. Furthermore, by modification of PM with de novo peptides based on peptide-protein interaction, directional oriented PM assembly on silicon substrate was obtained for technical devices. This work develops a new method for studying membrane nanoelectronics and exploring the bioelectric application at the nanoscale. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanostructured Biofuel Cells)
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Open AccessArticle Effect of Graphene-Graphene Oxide Modified Anode on the Performance of Microbial Fuel Cell
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(9), 174; doi:10.3390/nano6090174
Received: 15 May 2016 / Revised: 27 August 2016 / Accepted: 1 September 2016 / Published: 15 September 2016
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Abstract
The inferior hydrophilicity of graphene is an adverse factor to the performance of the graphene modified anodes (G anodes) in microbial fuel cells (MFCs). In this paper, different amounts of hydrophilic graphene oxide (GO) were doped into the modification layers to elevate the
[...] Read more.
The inferior hydrophilicity of graphene is an adverse factor to the performance of the graphene modified anodes (G anodes) in microbial fuel cells (MFCs). In this paper, different amounts of hydrophilic graphene oxide (GO) were doped into the modification layers to elevate the hydrophilicity of the G anodes so as to further improve their performance. Increasing the GO doped ratio from 0.15 mg·mg−1 to 0.2 mg·mg−1 and 0.25 mg·mg−1, the static water contact angle (θc) of the G-GO anodes decreased from 74.2 ± 0.52° to 64.6 ± 2.75° and 41.7 ± 3.69°, respectively. The G-GO0.2 anode with GO doped ratio of 0.2 mg·mg−1 exhibited the optimal performance and the maximum power density (Pmax) of the corresponding MFC was 1100.18 mW·m−2, 1.51 times higher than that of the MFC with the G anode. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanostructured Biofuel Cells)
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