Microbial Viability Within Hydrogel Matrices
By: Laura Nutter    Email:  firstname.lastname@example.org
Home Town: Port Angeles, Washington    High School: Port Angeles High School 2017
Major: Microbiology, Molecular Biol & Biotechnology
Department: Biological Sciences
College: College of Science
Trichloroethylene (TCE), a commonly used industrial solvent, is a widespread, persistent, and carcinogenic groundwater pollutant. An effective treatment strategy for TCE contamination is bioremediation using reductively dechlorinating bacteria. However, during bioremediation changing pH levels can harm these degrading microbes. By incorporating the microbes into a polymer matrix, pH is buffered and the microbes are protected. Determination of encapsulated microbe viability assists in optimization of polymer formulations to better protect microbial consortia and improve degradation of contaminants.
My research focuses on using Lactobacillus casei and Lactobacillus Acidophilus as organisms to model microbial viability in an encapsulated state. This is done by growing the bacteria under variable conditions with various polymer types and several methods of bead formation. By maximizing microbial viability we can limit the production of hazardous intermediary chemicals in the bioremediation process and decrease the number of times that bioremediation is necessary to clean up contaminated sites.
|Poster||Encapsulation of Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus casei to Determine Cell Viability in a Hydrogel Biobead Matrix||July 30, 2020|
Additional Project Information:
Year in College Project Started:  Junior
Faculty Advisor:   Kristopher  Waynant
Faculty Advisor Email:   email@example.com
Funding Source:  National Science Foundation, Office of Undergraduate Research
Project Location:   Moscow, ID