Five methods, namely adsorption, covalent binding, encapsulation, entrapment, and cross-linking, for algae immobilization were briefly reviewed in this article. The immobilization capabilities of four solid carrier materials (polystyrene, polyurethane, polyethylene, and cross-linked polyethylene) with two algal species (Nannochloropsis oculata and Scendesmus dimorphus) were tested. After 14 days of immobilization, polystyrene foam showed the best cell attachment and was covered by algae cells not only on the outer surface but also inside the porous spaces of the carrier. The cross-linked polyethylene also showed good attachment and growth of algae cells. Between the two algae species, N. oculata showed better cell attachment than S. dimorphus on all four materials indicating that cell characteristics played an important role in cell-surface interactions. The Derjaguin & Landau and Verwey & Overbeek (DLVO) theory was applied to understand the interaction mechanism and predicted attachment trends were found qualitatively accurate in matching the experimental results.

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