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Title: Influence of Silica Matrix Composition and Functional Component Additives on the Bioactivity and Viability of Encapsulated Living Cells

We report the remarkable impact encapsulation matrix chemistry can have on the bioactivity and viability of integrated living cells. Two silica chemistries (aqueous silicate and alkoxysilane), and a functional component additive (glycerol), are employed to generate three distinct silica matrices. Moreover, these matrices are used to encapsulate living E. coli cells engineered with a synthetic riboswitch for cell-based biosensing. Following encapsulation, membrane integrity, reproductive capability, and riboswitch-based protein expression levels and rates are measured over a 5 week period. Striking differences in E. coli bioactivity, viability, and biosensing performance are observed for cells encapsulated within the different matrices. E. coli cells encapsulated for 35 days in aqueous silicate-based (AqS) matrices showed relatively low membrane integrity, but high reproductive capability in comparison to cells encapsulated in glycerol containing sodium silicate-based (AqS + g) and alkoxysilane-based (PGS) gels. Further, cells in sodium silicate-based matrices showed increasing fluorescence output over time, resulting in a 1.8-fold higher fluorescence level, and a faster expression rate, over cells free in solution. Finally, this unusual and unique combination of biological properties demonstrates that careful design of the encapsulation matrix chemistry can improve functionality of the biocomposite material, and result in new and unexpected physiological states.
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4]
  1. Univ. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM (United States). Chemical and Biological Engineering
  2. Air Force Research Lab. (AFRL), Wright-Patterson AFB, OH (United States)
  3. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States). Bioenergy and Biodefense Technologies
  4. Univ. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM (United States). Chemical and Biological Engineering; Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States). Self-Assembed Materials
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 2373-9878; 540817
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 1; Journal Issue: 12; Journal ID: ISSN 2373-9878
Research Org:
Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES bioactivity; cell encapsulation; cell viability; glycerol modified silanes; living hybrid biomaterials; whole-cell-based biosensors
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1184575