4 March 2014 Multispectral sorter for rapid, nondestructive optical bioprospecting for algae biofuels
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Abstract
Microalgal biotechnology is a nascent yet burgeoning field for developing the next generation of sustainable feeds, fuels, and specialty chemicals. Among the issues facing the algae bioproducts industry, the lack of efficient means of cultivar screening and phenotype selection represents a critical hurdle for rapid development and diversification. To address this challenge, we have developed a multi-modal and label-free optical tool which simultaneously assesses the photosynthetic productivity and biochemical composition of single microalgal cells, and provides a means for actively sorting attractive specimen (bioprospecting) based on the spectral readout. The device integrates laser-trapping micro-Raman spectroscopy and pulse amplitude modulated (PAM) fluorometry of microalgal cells in a flow cell. Specifically, the instrument employs a dual-purpose epi-configured IR laser for single-cell trapping and Raman spectroscopy, and a high-intensity VISNIR trans-illumination LED bank for detection of variable photosystem II (PSII) fluorescence. Micro-Raman scatter of single algae cells revealed vibrational modes corresponding to the speciation and total lipid content, as well as other major biochemical pools, including total protein, carbohydrates, and carotenoids. PSII fluorescence dynamics provide a quantitative estimate of maximum photosynthetic efficiency and regulated and non-regulated non-photochemical quenching processes. The combined spectroscopic readouts provide a set of metrics for subsequent optical sorting of the cells by the laser trap for desirable biomass properties, e.g. the combination of high lipid productivity and high photosynthetic yield. Thus the device provides means for rapid evaluation and sorting of algae cultures and environmental samples for biofuels development.
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Ryan W. Davis, Ryan W. Davis, Hauwen Wu, Hauwen Wu, Seema Singh, Seema Singh, } "Multispectral sorter for rapid, nondestructive optical bioprospecting for algae biofuels", Proc. SPIE 8947, Imaging, Manipulation, and Analysis of Biomolecules, Cells, and Tissues XII, 89471E (4 March 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2040538; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2040538
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