Single-cell encapsulation methods for enhancing microorganism viability

Year 2020
Project team Ariel Furst with Chelsea Catania
Processing methods Affect the viability of microorganisms
Coating probiotics Has shown promise
Protect cells From environmental pressures

Improving microbial viability

Probiotics, by definition, must be alive at the moment of administration, but processing methods cause significant cellular stresses and impact the viability of microorganisms. This becomes a major bottleneck in the commercialization of probiotics, in the areas of manufacturing and storage. Coating probiotics to improve the microbial viability during processing and storage has shown promise. This team is developing a self-assembling, inorganic-organic hybrid cellular coating for the protection of microorganisms from stresses incurred in the manufacturing process. The coatings will passively protect cells from environmental pressures and actively combat destructive elements such as free radicals.

A step toward “living biotherapeutics”

Chemical engineers created a coating for microbes that could make it easier to deploy the organisms to treat gastrointestinal disease.

Ariel Furst presents”Pharmor: A microbial ‘suit of armor’ ” at IdeaStream 2022