Hydrothermal disruption of algae cells for astaxanthin extraction†
We demonstrate a hydrothermal method of astaxanthin extraction from wet biomass using a high temperature and high pressure microfluidic platform. Haematococcus pluvialis cysts are trapped within the device and visualized in situ during the cell wall disruption and astaxanthin extraction processes. The device provides a highly controlled environment and enables direct comparison of chemical vs. hydrothermal processes at the cellular level. Hydrothermal disruption at a temperature of 200 °C was shown to be highly effective, resulting in near-complete astaxanthin extraction from wet biomass – a significant improvement over traditional methods.