Interfacing intact and metabolically active photosynthetic bacteria with abiotic electrodes requires both establishing extracellular electron transfer and immobilizing the biocatalyst on electrode surfaces. Artificial approaches for photoinduced electron harvesting through redox polymers reported in literature require the separate synthesis of artificial polymeric matrices and their subsequent combination with bacterial cells, making the development of biophotoanodes complex and less sustainable. Herein, we report a one-pot biocompatible and sustainable approach, inspired by the byssus of mussels, that provides bacterial cells adhesion on multiple surfaces under wet conditions to obtain biohybrid photoanodes with facilitated photoinduced electron harvesting. Purple bacteria were utilized as a model organism, as they are of great interest for the development of photobioelectrochemical systems for H-2 and NH3 synthesis, biosensing, and bioremediation purposes. The polydopamine matrix preparation strategy allowed the entrapment of active purple bacteria cells by initial oxygenic polymerization followed by electrochemical polymerization. Our results unveil that the deposition of bacterial cells with simultaneous polymerization of polydopamine on the electrode surface enables a 5-fold enhancement in extracellular electron transfer at the biotic/abiotic interface while maintaining the viability of the cells. The presented approach paves the way for a more sustainable development of biohybrid photoelectrodes.
Buscemi, Gabriella;Vona, Danilo;Stufano, Paolo;Labarile, Rossella;Cosma, Pinalysa;Agostiano, Angela;Farinola, Gianluca M;Grattieri, Matteo
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