Light-induced assembly of living bacteria with honeycomb substrate

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Science Advances  28 Feb 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 9, eaaz5757
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaz5757


Some bacteria are recognized to produce useful substances and electric currents, offering a promising solution to environmental and energy problems. However, applications of high-performance microbial devices require a method to accumulate living bacteria into a higher-density condition in larger substrates. Here, we propose a method for the high-density assembly of bacteria (106 to 107 cells/cm2) with a high survival rate of 80 to 90% using laser-induced convection onto a self-organized honeycomb-like photothermal film. Furthermore, the electricity-producing bacteria can be optically assembled, and the electrical current can be increased by one to two orders of magnitude simply by increasing the number of laser irradiations. This concept can facilitate the development of high-density microbial energy conversion devices and provide new platforms for unconventional environmental technology.

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