Cathodic supply of electrons to living microbial cells via cytocompatible redox-active polymers
Abstract Redox-active polymers composed of 2-methacryloyloxyethyl phosphorylcholine (MPC) and redox-active units are a new category of cytocompatible electron mediators which possess permeability of cell membranes. However, supply of electrons to living cells through the cytocompatible redox polymers has not been achieved so far due to the high redox potential of the redox polymers. Here we report that electrons were successfully supplied from a cathode into Escherichia coli cells, generating the current density of 7.8μAcm −2 at −0.40V vs. SHE. It was also revealed that the cytocompatibility of viologen was improved simply by co-polymerization with MPC. Highlights A new cytocompatible polymer with redox-active viologen moiety, was synthesized. The cytotoxicity of the viologen monomer was alleviated by copolymerization with MPC. Electrons were supplied from a cathode into Escherichia coli via the polymer. Graphical abstract [DISPLAY OMISSION]
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