Main content area

Scalable long-term extraction of photosynthetic electrons by simple sandwiching of nanoelectrode array with densely-packed algal cell film

Kim, Yong Jae, Yun, JaeHyoung, Kim, Seon Il, Hong, Hyeonaug, Park, Jun-Hee, Pyun, Jae-Chul, Ryu, WonHyoung
Biosensors & bioelectronics 2018 v.117 pp. 15-22
algae, alginates, biosensors, electrons, hydrogels, mixing, oxidation, photosynthesis, pressing, thylakoids
Direct extraction of photosynthetic electrons from the whole photosynthetic cells such as plant cells or algal cells can be highly efficient and sustainable compared to other approaches based on isolated photosynthetic apparatus such as photosystems I, II, and thylakoid membranes. However, insertion of nanoelectrodes (NEs) into individual cells are time-consuming and unsuitable for scale-up processes. We propose simple and efficient insertion of massively-populated NEs into cell films in which algal cells are densely packed in a monolayer. After stacking the cell film over an NE array, gentle pressing of the stack allows a large number of NEs to be inserted into the cells in the cell film. The NE array was fabricated by metal-assisted chemical etching (MAC-etching) followed by additional steps of wet oxidation and oxide etching. The cell film was prepared by mixing highly concentrated algal cells with alginate hydrogel. Photosynthetic currents of up to 106 nA/cm2 was achieved without aid of mediators, and the photosynthetic function was maintained for 6 days after NE array insertion into algal cells.