Microbial electrocatalysis: Redox mediators responsible for extracellular electron transfer

Xiaobo Liu, Liang Shi, Ji Dong Gu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

180 Scopus citations


Redox mediator plays an important role in extracellular electron transfer (EET) in many environments wherein microbial electrocatalysis occurs actively. Because of the block of cell envelope and the low difference of redox potential between the intracellular and extracellular surroundings, the proceeding of EET depends mainly on the help of a variety of mediators that function as an electron carrier or bridge. In this Review, we will summarize a wide range of redox mediators and further discuss their functional mechanisms in EET that drives a series of microbial electrocatalytic reactions. Studying these mediators adds to our knowledge of how charge transport and electrochemical reactions occur at the microorganism-electrode interface. This understanding would promote the widespread applications of microbial electrocatalysis in microbial fuel cells, bioremediation, bioelectrosynthesis, biomining, nanomaterial productions, etc. These improved applications will greatly benefit the sustainable development of the environmental-friendly biochemical industries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1815-1827
Number of pages13
JournalBiotechnology Advances
Issue number7
StatePublished - 15 Nov 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Biodegradation
  • Electrochemically active bacteria
  • Electron
  • Extracellular electron transfer
  • Microbial electrocatalysis
  • Redox mediator


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