Control of Microbial Growth in Microbeads

Control of Microbial Growth in Microbeads

Author: Heiko Kuhn

Microbial microencapsulation, the confinement of microbes within microcapsules, aims to protect microorganisms from external stresses by physically isolating them from their environment. Although encapsulated microorganisms have been used in various areas including cell therapy, sensors, and biocatalysis, uncontrolled growth results in their release from the capsule, thus leading to undesired external exposure of the cells.

A group led by Insung S. Choi, KAIST, Daejeon, South Korea, used a core/shell approach to regulate microbial growth by simply coating alginate microbeads with polydopamine (PD) under physiologically relevant conditions. The polydopamine shells were found to affect microbial growth in the alginate core while maintaining cell viability, which granted control over cell release.

The effects of the polydopamine shells on microbial growth were investigated in detail by modulating the concentration of nutrients in the cell culture media and varying the shell thickness.


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