Synergistic and Regulatable Bioremediation Capsules Fabrication Based on Vapor-Phased Encapsulation of Bacillus Bacteria and its Regulator by Poly-p-Xylylene

Yen-Ching Yang, Wei-Shen Huang, Shu-Man Hu, Chao-Wei Huang, Chih-Hao Chiu*, Hsien-Yeh ...


A regulatable bioremediation capsule material was synthesized with isolated single-strain bacteria (Bacillus species, B. CMC1) and a regulator molecule (carboxymethyl cellulose, CMC) by a vapor-phased encapsulation method with simple steps of water sublimation and poly-p-xylylene deposition in chemical vapor deposition (CVD) process. Mechanically, the capsule construct exhibited a controllable shape and dimensions, and was composed of highly biocompatible poly-p-xylylene as the matrix with homogeneously distributed bacteria and CMC molecules. Versatility of the encapsulation of the molecules at the desired concentrations was achieved in the vapor-phased sublimation and deposition fabrication process. The discovery of the fabricated capsule revealed that viable living B. CMC1 inhabited the capsule, and the capsule enhanced bacterial growth due to the materials and process used. Biologically, the encapsulated B. CMC1 demonstrated viable and functional enzyme activity for cellulase activation, and such activity was regulatable and proportional to the concentration of the decorated CMC molecules in the same capsule construct. Impressively, 13% of cellulase activity increase was realized by encapsulation of B. CMC1 by poly-p-xylylene, and a further 34% of cellulase activity increase was achieved by encapsulation of additional 2.5% CMC. Accordingly, this synergistic effectiveness of the capsule constructs was established by combining enzymatic B. CMC1 bacteria and its regulatory CMC by poly-p-xylylene encapsulation process. This reported encapsulation process exhibited other advantages, including the use of simple steps and a dry and clean process free of harmful chemicals; most importantly, the process is scalable for mass production. The present study represents a novel method to fabricate bacteria-encapsulated capsule for cellulose degradation in bioremediation that can be used in various applications, such as wastewater treatment and transforming of cellulose into glucose for biofuel production. Moreover, the concept of this vapor-phased encapsulation technology can be correspondingly used to encapsulate multiple bacteria and regulators to enhance the specific enzyme functions for degradation of various organic matters.

KEYWORDS: parylene, CVD, bioremediation, polymer, cellulase, Bacillus