Bioactive Ceramics - New Processing Technologies for Immobilization of Microorganisms for Filtration and Bioreactor Applications
The metabolism of biocomponents and microorganisms is widely used for the production of medical products as well as for biotechnological processes. The productivity of the related reactions can be improved by the immobilization of the living species in granules or in a gel matrix. Since these structures can suffer during operation due to their weakness a new type of porous ceramic composites was developed where the biological phase is immobilized in a rigid inorganic matrix of high permeability for fluids. During the so-called freeze gelation process (FGP) both, a highly efficient immobilization of the biocomponents and an ideal permeability is achieved. A high versatility is then offered due to the particular advantages of the freezing step necessary for the sol-gel transition and the preservation of embedded microorganisms. While the freezing conditions are decisive for the resulting porosity of the biocer, they are also crucial for the survival rate of the embedded biocomponents. The porosity can be adjusted over a wide range by controlling the composition and the freezing conditions. By the directional ice crystal growth large pore channels can be achieved inside the biocers. Thus, the embedded biocomponents are easily accessible by external reagents and biochemical reactions can proceed with a high rate. Furthermore, cell division is conceivable inside the biocers by safe immobilization at the same time. These biocers allow a wide field of applications depending on the class of immobilized biospecies. Biocatalysis with enzymes can also be applied as bioaccumulation and absorption/desorption of metal ions for separation processes of contaminated water or highly selective filters for metallic complexes in solution.
Wei Pan and Jianghong Gong
D. Koch, C. Soltmann, G. Grathwohl, "Bioactive Ceramics - New Processing Technologies for Immobilization of Microorganisms for Filtration and Bioreactor Applications", Key Engineering Materials, Vols. 336-338, pp. 1683-1687, 2007