Biofilm-based microbial fuel cells are highly robust and well-suited for application in wastewater treatment, say German scientists at the Technical University of Braunschweig.
The team led by Uwe Schröder tested the ability of microbial fuel cells to cope with different biocides, including antibiotics, heavy metals and disinfectants. The researchers found that the cells based on electroactive biofilms (bacterial films grown directly on the anode) are not affected by the presence of biocides, whereas bacterial suspensions are (even at low biocide concentrations). Suspensions are therefore more suitable for use in biosensors.
These results are not only important in environmental and energy research but also offer interesting perspectives on bacterial resistance in general, being of significance in medicine.
- Toxicity Response of Electroactive Microbial Biofilms —A Decisive Feature for Potential Biosensor and Power Source Applications
S. Patil, F. Harnisch, U. Schröder,
ChemPhysChem 2010, 11.