Microalgae as photosynthetic oxygen generators for pollution control, life support systems and medicine

Konstantin Bloch*, Pnina Vardi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In the early history of the Earth, atmospheric oxygen was built up by photosynthetic microalgae. These prokaryotic and eukaryotic microorganisms use sunlight energy to drive the synthesis of organic molecules from CO2 and water, and liberate oxygen as a by-product. The remarkable adaptation capacity of unicellular algae to produce oxygen in different extreme environments can used in various fields of constructive human endeavor. Numerous innovative solutions have been proposed to utilize photosynthetic microorganisms in pollution control to treat oxygenated wastewater, to regenerate the atmosphere in the enclosed weightlessness environment in space and in medicine to develop an extracorporeal bioartificial lung and oxygenated implanted bioartificial pancreas. This paper focuses mainly on the various methodologies employed recently in the development of microalga-based photosynthetic oxygen generators for such different areas as pollution control, space life support and medicine. Progress in these fields require a multidisciplinary approach to explore and optimize the interaction between components of the biological system and different technological processes. The authors discuss their research findings related to the application of microalgae for oxygen delivery to implantable bioartificial pancreas, emphasizing the importance of the close cooperation of multidisciplinary teams engaged in the development of such bio-hybrid medical devices. Special attention is paid to the advantages of microalgae, compared with other technologies for oxygenation, to serve as a safe, cheap and smart tool for oxygen supply.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAlgae
Subtitle of host publicationNutrition, Pollution Control and Energy Sources
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)9781606920084
StatePublished - 2009


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