Measurement of individual cell strength of Botryococcus braunii in cell culture

Shun Tsutsumi, Yasuhiro Saito, Yohsuke Matsushita, Hideyuki Aoki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Botryococcus braunii is a microalga considered for biofuel production and may require physical disruption of cells/colonies for efficient hydrocarbon extraction. In this study, the strength of individual cells of B. braunii was measured using a nanoindenter. From the load and cell size, the pressure for bursting the cell was calculated to be 56.9 MPa. This value is 2.3–10 times those of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Chlorella vulgaris found in another research, because B. braunii has two types of cell walls with different thicknesses. The energy required to disrupt 1 g of dry B. braunii cells, estimated by load-displacement curves, is 3.19 J g−1 which is 0.19–1.2 times higher than those of S. cerevisiae and C. vulgaris. When using a high-pressure homogenizer for disrupting B. braunii cells, the cell disruption degree increased with the treatment pressure at above 30 MPa, and 70% of cells were disrupted at 80 MPa.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2287-2296
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Applied Phycology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Aug 1


  • Botryococcus braunii
  • Cell disruption
  • Cell strength
  • Microalgae
  • Nanoindentation


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