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Deciphering Single-Bacterium Adhesion Behavior Modulated by Extracellular Electron Transfer
journal contributionposted on 2021-06-04, 18:37 authored by Shuomeng Zhang, Lei Wang, Liang Wu, Zhongjian Li, Bin Yang, Yang Hou, Lecheng Lei, Shaoan Cheng, Qinggang He
For bacterial adhesion and biofilm formation, a thorough understanding of the mechanism and effective modulating is lacking due to the complex extracellular electron transfer (EET) at bacteria-surface interfaces. Here, we explore the adhesion behavior of a model electroactive bacteria under various metabolic conditions by an integrated electrochemical single-cell force microscopy system. A nonlinear model between bacterial adhesion force and electric field intensity is established, which provides a theoretical foundation for precise tuning of bacterial adhesion strength by the surface potential and the direction and flux of electron flow. In particular, based on quantitative analyses with equivalent charge distribution modeling and wormlike chain numerical simulations, it is demonstrated that the chain conformation and unfolding events of outer membrane appendages are dominantly impacted by the dynamic bacterial EET processes. This reveals how the anisotropy of bacterial conductive structure can translate into the desired adhesion behavior in different scenarios.