Catalytic Biofilms: a Powerful Concept for Future Bioprocesses
Rainer Gross, Andreas Schmid and Katja Buehler
from: Microbial Biofilms: Current Research and Applications (Edited by: Gavin Lear and Gillian D. Lewis). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2012)
Biofilms are mainly known for causing problems in medical and industrial settings due to their persistence towards treatment with bactericides, including antibiotics. However, in the area of bioremediation they are widely recognized for their ability to degrade hazardous or organic compounds to CO2 and biomass. Biofilms represent a highly interesting biological concept since they unite important characteristics such as the ability of self-immobilization and increased robustness to various physical, chemical and biological stressors, which make them exceedingly attractive for productive catalysis. The following review provides a detailed survey of biofilm applications for productive biocatalysis on lab-, pilot-, and industrial scales, regarding fermentation as well as biotransformation reactions. It discusses technological as well as biological challenges of biofilm driven catalysis, presenting developments in the field of biofilm reactor technology and the latest findings in understanding biofilm dynamics. Biocatalysis related issues like genetic stability, evolution, uncontrolled growth as well as detachment, contamination risks, monitoring of biomass, EPS, chemical and biological heterogeneity are considered read more ...