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Subnanometric Roughness Affects the Deposition and Mobile Adhesion of Escherichia coli on Silanized Glass Surfaces

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posted on 2016-05-09, 00:00 authored by Sumedha Sharma, Yuly Andrea Jaimes-Lizcano, Ryan B. McLay, Patrick C. Cirino, Jacinta C. Conrad
We investigate the deposition and transient adhesion of Escherichia coli on alkyl and fluoroalkyl silanized glass surfaces of different carbon chain lengths. The rate at which bacteria deposit onto these surfaces decreases as the shear stress is increased from 3 to 67 mPa, but trends in the deposition rate across all surfaces cannot be predicted from extended DLVO calculations of the interaction potential. As the surface root-mean-square (rms) roughness increases, the deposition rate increases and the percentage of motile tethered cells decreases. Furthermore, on surfaces of root-mean-square roughness of less than 0.2 nm, bacteria exhibit mobile adhesion, for which surface-associated cells linearly translate distances greater than approximately 1.5 times their average body length along the flow direction. E. coli bacteria with and without flagella exhibit mobile adhesion, indicating that this behavior is not driven by these appendages. Cells that express fimbriae do not exhibit mobile adhesion. These results suggest that even subnanoscale roughness can influence the deposition and transient adhesion of bacteria and imply that strategies to reduce frictional interactions by making cells or surfaces smoother may help to control the initial fouling of surfaces by E. coli bacteria.

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