Encapsulation of living bacteria in electrospun cyclodextrin ultrathin fibers for bioremediation of heavy metals and reactive dye from wastewater
Cyclodextrins (CD) are cyclic oligosaccharides produced from the enzymatic degradation of starch as a white powder form; on the other hand, they can be transformed into ultrathin electrospun fiber form by electrospinning technique. The electrospun cyclodextrin fibers (CD-F) can be quite attractive materials to encapsulate bacteria for bioremediation purposes. For instance, CD-F not only serve as a carrier matrix but also it serves as a feeding source for the encapsulated bacteria. In the present study, we demonstrate a facile approach by encapsulation of bacteria into CD-F matrix for wastewater treatment application. The natural and non-toxic properties of CD-F render a better bacterial viability for fibrous biocomposite. The encapsulated bacteria in CD-F exhibit cell viability for more than 7 days at 4 °C storage condition. Furthermore, we have tested the bioremediation capability of bacteria/CD-F biocomposite for the treatment of heavy metals (Nickel(II) and Chromium(VI)) and textile dye (Reactive Black 5, RB5). The bacteria/CD-F biocomposite has shown removal efficiency of Ni(II), Cr(VI) and RB5 as 70 ± 0.2%, 58 ± 1.4% and 82 ± 0.8, respectively. As anticipated, the pollutants removal capabilities of the bacteria/CD-F was higher compare to free bacteria since bacteria can use CD as an extra carbon source which promotes their growth rate. This study demonstrates that CD-F are suitable platforms for the encapsulation of bacterial cells to develop novel biocomposites that have bioremediation capabilities for wastewater treatment.