Living and conducting: Coating individual bacterial cells with in situ formed polypyrrole
Reference: Angewandte Chemie International Edition (2017) 56: 10608-10608.

Coating individual bacterial cells with conjugated polymers to endow them with more functionalities is highly desirable. Here, we developed an in situ polymerisation method to coat polypyrrole on the surface of individual Shewanella oneidensis MR-1, Escherichia coli, Ochrobacterium anthropic or Streptococcus thermophilus. All of these ascoated cells from different bacterial species displayed enhanced conductivities without affecting viability, suggesting the generality of our coating method. Because of their excellent conductivity, we employed polypyrrole-coated Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 as an anode in microbial fuel cells (MFCs) and found that not only direct contact-based extracellular electron transfer is dramatically enhanced, but also the viability of bacterial cells in MFCs is improved. Our results indicate that coating individual bacteria with conjugated polymers could be a promising strategy to enhance their performance or enrich them with more functionalities.

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Published By
Song R. B., Wu Y., Lin Z. Q., Xie J., Tan C.H., Loo J. S. C., Cao B., Zhang J. R., Zhu J. J., Zhang Q.