Immobilization of bacteria and Saccharomyces cerevisiae in poly(tetrafluoroethylene) membranes.


A novel method for immobilization of bacteria and Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells is described. Microorganisms may be entrapped in a matrix of poly(tetrafluoroethylene) (PTFE) fibrils. Cells are blended with an aqueous emulsion of PTFE stabilized with Triton X-100 surfactant to form a thick paste. The paste is calendered biaxially in a standard rubber mill. This process causes fibrillation of the PTFE and formation of the fibril matrix, which serves only to impart physical integrity to the composite microporous membrane. The cells trapped in the membrane were shown to be viable by incubation of the membrane on solid media and in broth culture. This bioactive membrane represents a new means of immobilization of cells for bioprocessing.

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