Culture scaffolds allow microalgae cultivation with minimum water requirement using the air-liquid interface approach. However, the stability of cellulose-based scaffolds in microalgae cultivation remains questionable. In this study, the stability of regenerated cellulose culture scaffolds was enhanced by adjusting TiO2 loading and casting gap. The membrane scaffolds were synthesized using cellulose dissolved in NaOH/urea aqueous solution with various loading of TiO2 nanoparticles. The TiO2 nanoparticles were embedded into the porous membrane scaffolds as proven by Fourier transform infrared spectra, scanning electron microscopic images, and energy-dispersive X-ray spectra. Although surface hydrophilicity and porosity were enhanced by increasing TiO2 and casting gap, the scaffold pore size was reduced. Cellulose membrane scaffold with 0.05 wt% of TiO2 concentration and thickness of 100 μm attained the highest percentage of Navicula incerta growth rate, up to 37.4%. The membrane scaffolds remained stable in terms of weight, porosity and pore size even they were immersed in acidic solution, hydrogen peroxide or autoclaved at 121 °C for 15 min. The optimal cellulose membrane scaffold is with TiO2 loading of 0.5 wt% and thickness of 100 μm, resulting in supporting the highest N. incerta growth rate and and exhibits good membrane stability.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.