Experimental and modeling studies of sorption of ceria nanoparticle on microbial biofilms

Hengye Jing, Bineyam Mezgebe, Ashraf Aly Hassan, Endalkachew Sahle-Demessie, George A. Sorial, Christina Bennett-Stamper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


This study focuses on the interaction of ceria nanoparticles (CeO2-NPs) with Pseudomonas fluorescens and Mycobacterium smegmatis biofilms. Confocal laser microscopy and transmission electron microscopy determined the distribution of NPs in the complex structures of biofilm at molecular levels. Visual data showed that most of the adsorption takes place on the bacterial cell walls and spores. The interaction of nanoparticles (NPs) with biofilms reached equilibrium after the initial high adsorption rate regardless of biofilm heterogeneity and different nanoparticle concentrations in the bulk liquid. Physical processes may dominate this sorption phenomenon. Pseudo first order sorption kinetics was used to estimate adsorption and desorption rate of CeO2-NPs onto biofilms. When biofilms got exposed to CeO2-NPs, a self-protecting mechanism was observed. Cells moved away from the bulk solution in the biofilm matrix, and portions of biofilm outer layer were detached, hence releasing some CeO2-NPs back to the bulk phase.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-117
Number of pages9
JournalBioresource Technology
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Confocal laser microscopy
  • Microbial biofilm
  • Nanoparticles
  • Sorption kinetics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Waste Management and Disposal


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