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Materials 2018, 11(2), 296;

Encapsulation of Multiple Microalgal Cells via a Combination of Biomimetic Mineralization and LbL Coating

Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), Daejeon 34141, Korea
Graduate School of Energy Science and Technology, Chungnam National University, Daejeon 34134, Korea
Clean Fuel Laboratory, Korea Institute of Energy Research, Daejeon 34129, Korea
Department of Biosystems Engineering, Chungnam National University, Daejeon 34129, Korea
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Current Address: Amorepacific R&D Center, Yongin 16882, Korea.
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 January 2018 / Revised: 6 February 2018 / Accepted: 11 February 2018 / Published: 13 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Biomaterials)
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The encapsulation of living cells is appealing for its various applications to cell-based sensors, bioreactors, biocatalysts, and bioenergy. In this work, we introduce the encapsulation of multiple microalgal cells in hollow polymer shells of rhombohedral shape by the following sequential processes: embedding of microalgae in CaCO3 crystals; layer-by-layer (LbL) coating of polyelectrolytes; and removal of sacrificial crystals. The microcapsule size was controlled by the alteration of CaCO3 crystal size, which is dependent on CaCl2/Na2CO3 concentration. The microalgal cells could be embedded in CaCO3 crystals by a two-step process: heterogeneous nucleation of crystal on the cell surface followed by cell embedment by the subsequent growth of crystal. The surfaces of the microalgal cells were highly favorable for the crystal growth of calcite; thus, micrometer-sized microalgae could be perfectly occluded in the calcite crystal without changing its rhombohedral shape. The surfaces of the microcapsules, moreover, could be decorated with gold nanoparticles, Fe3O4 magnetic nanoparticles, and carbon nanotubes (CNTs), by which we would expect the functionalities of a light-triggered release, magnetic separation, and enhanced mechanical and electrical strength, respectively. This approach, entailing the encapsulation of microalgae in semi-permeable and hollow polymer microcapsules, has the potential for application to microbial-cell immobilization for high-biomass-concentration cultivation as well as various other bioapplications. View Full-Text
Keywords: encapsulation; microalgae; microcapsule; mineralization; layer-by-layer; calcite encapsulation; microalgae; microcapsule; mineralization; layer-by-layer; calcite

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Kim, M.; Choi, M.G.; Ra, H.W.; Park, S.B.; Kim, Y.-J.; Lee, K. Encapsulation of Multiple Microalgal Cells via a Combination of Biomimetic Mineralization and LbL Coating. Materials 2018, 11, 296.

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