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Title: Modeling biofilms with dual extracellular electron transfer mechanisms

Electrochemically active biofilms have a unique form of respiration in which they utilize solid external materials as their terminal electron acceptor for metabolism. Currently, two primary mechanisms have been identified for long-range extracellular electron transfer (EET): a diffusion- and a conduction-based mechanism. Evidence in the literature suggests that some biofilms, particularly Shewanella oneidensis, produce components requisite for both mechanisms. In this study, a generic model is presented that incorporates both diffusion- and conduction-based mechanisms and allows electrochemically active biofilms to utilize both simultaneously. The model was applied to Shewanella oneidensis and Geobacter sulfurreducens biofilms using experimentally generated data found the literature. Our simulation results showed that 1) biofilms having both mechanisms available, especially if they can interact, may have metabolic advantage over biofilms that can use only a single mechanism; 2) the thickness of Geobacter sulfurreducens biofilms is likely not limited by conductivity; 3) accurate intrabiofilm diffusion coefficient values are critical for current generation predictions; and 4) the local biofilm potential and redox potential are two distinct measurements and cannot be assumed to have identical values. Finally, we determined that cyclic and squarewave voltammetry are currently not good tools to determine the specific percentage of extracellular electron transfer mechanisms usedmore » by biofilms. The developed model will be a critical tool in designing experiments to explain EET mechanisms.« less
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Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics. PCCP, 15(44):19262-19283
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US), Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
biofilm; electron transfer; extracellular; Geobacter; MFC; model; Shewanella; squarewave; voltammetry; Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory