Thesis topic

Synthesis of ferric phosphate nanoparticles by bacteria isolated from a natural biofilm

  • Type
  • Keywords
    Bacteria, nanoparticles, biomineral


Nanoparticles (NPs) composed of ferric phosphate have a growing industrial value. Indeed, they may be used in the glass industry, as catalysts, in wastewater purification systems and in lithium batteries. Ferric phosphate NPs may also be used in the food industry to increase iron bioavailability of food products. Although these NPs may be produced by chemical methods, there is a growing need to develop an eco-friendly process for NP synthesis and hence the focus should turn towards ‘green’ chemistry and bioprocesses. Bacteria have been known for a long time to be able to produce NPs. In the marine environment, a microbial community is even known to precipitate an amorphous ferric phosphate in the form of NPs. The species composition of this microbial community, thriving on the shell of a marine bivalve, was never accurately determined. As a consequence, the bacterial strains involved in the formation of the ferric phosphate NPs are unknown. The aim of the present project is to (1) characterize the microbial community on the bivalve by shotgun metagenomics; (2) based on the previous analysis, try to isolate the key species in pure culture; (3) determine the biomineralization capacity of each isolated strain (formation of ferric phosphate NPs); (4) characterize the NPs obtained and compare them to those found in the natural biofilm.

About this topic

Related to
Proteomy and microbiology
David Gillian

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