Skip to main content

Combined nuclear magnetic resonance and electrochemical techniques for the study of electrochemically-active Geobacter biofilms

EMSL Project ID


Understanding the ability of some microorganisms to utilize extracellular electron transfer is important for applications in bioremediation and electrochemically-stimulated synthetic biology. Geobacter is one genus that is well studied for its extracellular electron transfer ability. We propose the use of a modified nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) biofilm reactor to determine the electron production kinetics and coulombic efficiencies of electrochemically-active Geobacter biofilms under continuous growth conditions. This will be accomplished using simultaneous potentiostat-controlled electrochemical experiments with NMR. Combining NMR with simultaneous electrochemical experiments will allow for correlated real-time in situ metabolite, product, and electron balances. These experiments will reveal how microenvironments inside of biofilms affect macroscale kinetics and efficiencies. The final portion of this project will combine NMR, mass spectrometry, electron microscopy, and electrochemical data to form a coherent "big picture" mathematical model of Geobacter biofilms sustained on polarized electrodes.

Project Details

Project type
Large-Scale EMSL Research
Start Date
End Date


Principal Investigator

Ryan Renslow
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Team Members

Adan Medina
Washington State University