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Process Biochemistry

Air drying on superamphiphobic surfaces can reduce damage by organic solvents to microbial cells immobilized in synthetic resin capsules

Takayuki Takei, Shugo Hamada, Keita Terazono, Masahiro Yoshida

Department of Chemical Engineering, Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Kagoshima University, 1-21-40 Korimoto, Kagoshima 890-0065, Japan.


Immobilization of microbial cells in hydrophobic resin capsules for various bioprocesses such as metabolite production allows for greater efficiency than use of free cells. Conventional emulsion solvent evaporation (ESE) technique can seriously damage microbial cells in capsules by organic solvents. To overcome this issue, we applied an air drying technique on superamphiphobic surfaces for encapsulating microbial cells. Amphiphobic surface means water- and oil-repellent surface. Our data show that air drying allows capsules to be prepared without using water, and reduces cell contact with organic solvents. These features of air drying contribute to significant reduction of cell damage caused by solvents compared with ESE. Our results show that air drying is a promising technique for immobilization of living microbial cells in hydrophobic resin capsules.

Graphical abstract

Keywords: Microbial cell; Capsule; Organic solvent; Immobilization; Toxicity.

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