Electrochemically-active bacteria growing on a graphite felt electrode
Conductive Geobacter sulfurreducens PCA on graphite felt electrode. A graphite felt electrode pulled from a bioelectrochemical reactor growing electrochemically-active bacteria, Geobacter sulfurreducens PCA. Fixation was performed with 2.5% gluteraldehyde and 2% paraformaldehyde in 0.1 M sodium phosphate buffer. Emily Davenport, Washington State University, 3rd – year Chemical Engineering, artistic category.

Emily Davenport, a WSU graduate student in chemical engineering, recently won two awards in the Inland Northwest Micrograph Contest for her micrographs for the research on electrochemically active biofilms. A biofilm is a group of microorganisms that have colonized a surface. These photos, taken through a scanning electron microscope, illustrate how biofilm structure and formation can facilitate the transfer of electrons and produce electricity. Davenport’s research focuses on the protective functions of a biofilm’s extracellular polymeric substance (EPS), a matrix of biomolecules produced by the biofilm. Davenport is especially interested in how EPS interacts with antibiotics used to treat infections. The Inland Northwest Micrograph Contest is an annual competition put on by the Materials Research Society of WSU.

Electrochemically-active bacteria growing on a graphite felt electrode
Conductive Geobacter sulfurreducens PCA biofilm on graphite felt electrode. A graphite felt electrode pulled from a bioelectrochemical reactor growing electrochemically-active bacteria, Geobacter sulfurreducens PCA. This intersection of fibers shows G. sulfurreducens growing away from the electrode, illustrating its ability to transfer electrons over a great distance to the electrode. Fixation was performed with 2.5% gluteraldehyde and 2% paraformaldehyde in 0.1 M sodium phosphate buffer. Emily Davenport, Washington State University, 3rd year – Chemical Engineering, scientific category.