www.peopleofthechange.com
Click here for more information about LiqofluxPhenometrics Buy 3 Get 1 Free
Visit cricatalyst.com!Evodos Separation Technology

Innovations

3D printed corals support algae growth

April 13, 2020
AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com

Left: Close-up of coral reef microstructures consisting of a coral skeleton (white) and coral tissue (orange-yellow). Right: SEM image of 3D printed coral skeleton. Images courtesy of Nature Communications

Researchers at the University of California San Diego and the University of Cambridge have 3D printed coral-inspired structures that are capable of growing dense populations of microscopic algae. The work, published Apr. 9 in Nature Communications, could lead to the development of compact, more efficient bioreactors for producing algae-based biofuels. It could also help researchers develop new techniques to repair and restore coral reefs.

In tests, the printed coral structures grew a commercial strain of microalgae, Marinichlorella kaistiae, up to 100 times more densely than natural corals.

“Corals are one of the most efficient organisms at using, capturing and converting light to generate energy. And they do so in extreme environments, where light is highly fluctuating and there’s limited space to grow. Our goal here was to use corals as inspiration to develop more productive techniques for growing microalgae as a form of sustainable energy,” said first author Daniel Wangpraseurt, a marine scientist at the University of Cambridge.

To build the coral structures, Dr. Wangpraseurt teamed up with UC San Diego nanoengineering professor Shaochen Chen, whose lab specializes in a rapid, 3D bioprinting technology capable of reproducing detailed structures that mimic the complex designs and functions of living tissues. Chen’s method can print structures with micrometer-scale resolution in just minutes.

Microalgae growing on the 3D printed coral structure. Image courtesy of Nature Communications

This is critical for replicating structures with live cells, Dr. Chen said. “Most of these cells will die if we were to use traditional extrusion-based or inkjet 3D printing processes because these methods take hours. It would be like keeping a fish out of the water; the cells that we work with won’t survive if kept too long out of their culture media. Our process is high throughput and offers really fast printing speeds, so it’s compatible with human cells, animal cells, and even algae cells in this case,” he said.

The 3D printed corals are built to capture and scatter light more efficiently than natural corals. They consist of cup-shaped, artificial skeletons that support coral-like tissue. The skeleton is made up of a biocompatible polymer gel, called PEGDA, embedded with cellulose nanocrystals. The coral tissue consists of a gelatin-based polymer hydrogel, called GelMA, mixed with living algae cells and cellulose nanocrystals.

On the surface are tiny cylindrical structures that act as coral tentacles, which increase the surface area for absorbing light. Nanocrystals embedded in the skeleton and coral tissue, along with the corals’ cup shape, also improve light absorption and enable more light to be focused onto algae cells so that they photosynthesize more efficiently.

Read More

More Like This…

Copyright ©2010-2020 AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com. All rights reserved. Permission required to reprint this article in its entirety. Must include copyright statement and live hyperlinks. Contact editorial@algaeindustrymagazine.com. A.I.M. accepts unsolicited manuscripts for consideration, and takes no responsibility for the validity of claims made in submitted editorial.

twittertopbarlinks_eventstopbarlinks_requesttopbarlinks_archives

From The A.I.M. Archives

— Refresh Page for More Choices
How did plants make the evolutionary jump from water to land? Scientists think that green algae are their water-living ancestors, but we are not sure how the transition t...
Cécile Barbière writes for Euractive.fr (translated by Rob Kirby) that, in large greenhouses formerly home to the tomatoes and cucumbers of the market gardening Groupe Ol...
Julianna Photopoulos writes in Horizon EU Research and Innovation magazine that UK start-up Skipping Rocks Lab aims to use natural materials extracted from plants and sea...
Mimi Cook Hall, has accepted the position of CEO at Phenometrics Inc. after serving three years as the Director of Sales and Marketing, generating sales revenue, and impl...
In collaboration with fellow researchers, chemists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have developed a process that, according to initial calculations, can facil...
Members from ABO’s Future of Algae for Food and Feed and their stakeholders have laid out the next steps in launching an industry wide Algae Center of Excellence (ACE). T...
The 2020 Algae Biomass Summit is going virtual. In light of the continued uncertainty around the global COVID-19 outbreak the Algae Biomass Organization’s board of direct...
E.A. Crunden writes in thinkprogress.org that Florida’s first gubernatorial debate was dominated by environmental and climate issues, with an emphasis on the state’s alga...
Tavelmout Biofarm (TVMB), a Bruneian subsidiary of Tabérumo Corporation — a pioneer in the large-scale cultivation of spirulina using photobioreactors — has launched thei...
Karly Graham reports that Michigan State University researchers are testing algae hibernation to optimize the plant’s ability to be used for biofuel production. Algae pro...
Alice Klein reports that a skin patch made of living blue-green algae speeds up wound healing in mice and may help to treat chronic wounds in people with diabetes, accord...
Alexander Richter writes in thinkgeoenergy.com that Israel-based Algaennovation last week signed a 15-year contract with Icelandic energy utility and operator ON Power fo...