Like nanomaterials, bacteria have been unknowingly used for centuries. They hold significant economic potential for fuel and medicinal compound production. Their full exploitation, however, is impeded by low biological activity and stability in industrial reactors. Though cellular encapsulation addresses these limitations, cell survival is usually compromised due to shell-to-cell contacts and low permeability. Here, we report ordered packing of silica nanocolloids with organized, uniform and tunable nanoporosities for single cyanobacterium nanoencapsulation using protamine as an electrostatic template. A space between the capsule shell and the cell is created by controlled internalization of protamine, resulting in a highly ordered porous shell-void-cell structure formation. These unique yolk-shell nanostructures provide long-term cell viability with superior photosynthetic activities and resistance in harsh environments. In addition, engineering the colloidal packing allows tunable shell-pore diameter for size-dependent permeability and introduction of new functionalities for specific molecular recognition. Our strategy could significantly enhance the activity and stability of cyanobacteria for various nanobiotechnological applications.
- cell surface engineering
- harsh condition resistance
- high photosynthetic ability
- ordered colloidal packing
- protein internalization
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Technological Platform Physical Chemistry and characterization
Facility/equipment: Technological Platform