Studying the bioavailability and biodegradability of OMPs during treatment

#ESR 2

Studying the bioavailability and biodegradability of OMPs during treatment

Host institution

Rheinisch-Westfaelische Technische Hochschule Aachen, Germany

Double doctorate degree

1. RWTH Aachen University (RWTH ), Aachen, Germany
2. University of Santiago de Compostela (USC), Spain<

Brief description of individual research project

This project will develop polymer-based tools to measure and control the bioavailable dissolved concentrations of OMPs during their biological treatment for better understanding the key factors limiting bioavailability and thus OMP removal by microorganisms.

The focus will be on two aspects: (i) using passive sampling to measure changes in the bioavailable dissolved concentrations in analogous reactors to those used for the biological treatment in ESR 1, and (ii) applying passive dosing to investigate whether there are threshold concentrations of OMPs that are required for induction of the catabolic pathways. By measuring the bioavailable dissolved concentrations, the role of factors influencing supply (e.g., chemical properties, matrix sorption) as well as removal (e.g., microbial growth in the presence of co-substrates) will be studied in order to identify bottlenecks in the biotransformation process. In addition, this data will be used as input into existing biodegradation models. By testing decreasing bioavailable dissolved concentrations, the hypothesis that there is a threshold concentration for OMPs biotransformation will be examined. OMP transformation will be examined at the cell level (i.e., enzyme activity) but also at the molecular level (i.e., protein and gene induction/repression).


University of Santiago de Compostela (USC), Spain – 12 months