Microplastics | Scientists Find Ways to Get rid of Bacterial Contamination

The viscosity of the bacteria used to create the microbial web can trap Microplastics in water and form recyclable spots.

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    Microbiologists have devised sustainable ways to remove contaminated microplastics from the environment. They want to use bacteria to do this.

    Bacteria naturally collect and attach to the surface, producing a sticky substance called a “biofilm.” For example, if you brush your teeth every morning to remove plaque, you will see bacteria. Researchers at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) want to take advantage of the properties of this sticky bacterium to create a band-shaped microbial network that can capture microplastics in sewage and form easy-to-handle and recyclable spots. I think.

    The findings presented at the annual meeting of the Microbiology Society on Wednesday are still preliminary, but in the long run, the present invention can sustain plastic pollution levels simply by using naturally occurring substances. It can pave the way for significant reductions.

    Sylvia Lang Liu, a PolyU microbiology researcher and lead researcher on the project, said:

    Scientists Find Ways to Get rid of Bacterial Contamination Microplastics
    Scientists Find Ways to Get rid of Bacterial Contamination Microplastics

    Microplastics are usually pieces of plastic smaller than 5 mm and are mistaken during manufacturing and disassembly (such as grocery bags and water bottles) or daily activities (such as cleaning synthetic clothing (such as nylon) and using personal care products). Will be released. There are scrub beads. In the environment.

    They are small, but they are at high risk of posting to the environment. Due to its low biodegradability, microplastics adhere for long periods of time, absorbing and accumulating toxic chemicals. They disperse in wastewater and the ocean, ultimately endangering marine animals that eat them, and eventually falling into the food chain, endangering human health. According to data from the International Maritime Organization, microplastics were found in more than 114 species of aquatic organisms in 2018, and microplastics were found in salts, lettuce, apples, etc.

    However, there is no sustainable, all-purpose way to eliminate microplastics.

    Scientists Find Ways to Get rid of Bacterial Contamination Microplastics

    Through this research, Liu’s team designed a bacterial biofilm made of a bacterium called Pseudomonas aeruginosa that can fix and bind fraudulent microplastics floating in water. These microbial nets capture and collect microplastics and sink them to the bottom. Second, thanks to the use of the “capture and release mechanism” of biofilm diffusion genes, researchers can find that they are ready to release microplastics from bacterial traps and recycle large amounts of microplastics.

    Dr. Joanna Sadler, a researcher at St. John’s Land, who was not involved in the study, said: “This is a truly innovative and exciting application of biofilm engineering to solve the plastic pollution crisis.” Liu and his colleagues have demonstrated an excellent solution to this problem. This has great potential to further develop into actual wastewater treatment technology.

    However, the experiment is still preliminary. A proof-of-concept test in a controlled laboratory environment, rather than in the ocean or sewer, using a strain of “Pseudomonas aeruginosa“, a type of human disease. Carrying bacteria cannot be used in large projects. However, researchers are confident that they can replicate this method to directly find and proceed from the bacteria that form natural biofilms in sewage and other aquatic environments.

    “This is an interesting development in the capture of microplastics,” said Dr. Nicholas Tucker, senior lecturer in molecular microbiology at the University of Strathclyde. “Is it scalable? Sex will be interesting.” According to Tucker, more research is needed on the types of surfaces on which biofilms grow.

    However, such research provides many uses of microbial biotechnology and good examples of the great achievements that microorganisms can achieve. Tucker said: “In general, this indicates that microorganisms can and will play a role at all stages of the plastic life cycle.”

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