Stabilization of single species Synechocystis biofilms by cultivation under segmented flow

  • Christian David
  • Katja BühlerEmail author
  • Andreas Schmid
Short Communication


The application of segmented flow on a Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 biofilm prevented excessive biomass formation and clogging by fundamentally changing the structure of the microbial community. It was possible to continuously operate a capillary microreactor for 5 weeks, before the experiment was actively terminated. The biofilm developed up to a thickness of 70–120 µm. Surprisingly, the biofilm stopped growing at this thickness and stayed constant without any detachment events occurring afterwards. The substrates CO2 and light were supplied in a counter-current fashion. Confocal microscopy revealed a throughout photosynthetically active biofilm, indicated by the red fluorescence of photo pigments. This control concept and biofilm reaction setup may enable continuous light driven synthesis of value added compounds in future.


Cyanobacteria Biofilm Hydrodynamic Continuous bioprocess Photosynthesis 



We are grateful to Carl Zeiss Microscopy, especially Dr. F. Josten for technical and apparative support, to the Chair of Chemical Biotechnology (TU Dortmund) for lab space and support, and to Dr. B. Halan and Dr. R. Karande for the helpful discussions.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no commercial or financial conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christian David
    • 1
  • Katja Bühler
    • 1
    Email author
  • Andreas Schmid
    • 1
  1. 1.Department Solar MaterialsHelmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ)LeipzigGermany

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