Factors influencing initial bacterial adhesion to antifouling surfaces studied by single-cell force spectroscopy

Tal Duanis-Assaf, Meital Reches*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Biofilm formation, a major concern for healthcare systems, is initiated when bacteria adhere to surfaces. Escherichia coli adhesion is mediated by appendages, including type-1 fimbriae and curli amyloid fibers. Antifouling surfaces prevent the adhesion of bacteria to combat biofilm formation. Here, we used single-cell force-spectroscopy to study the interaction between E. coli and glass or two antifouling surfaces: the tripeptide DOPA-Phe(4F)-Phe(4F)-OMe and poly(ethylene glycol) polymer-brush. Our results indicate that both antifoulants significantly deter E. coli initial adhesion. By using two mutant strains expressing no type-1 fimbriae or curli amyloids, we studied the adhesion mechanism. Our results suggest that the bacteria adhere to different antifoulants via separate mechanisms. Finally, we show that some bacteria adhere much better than others, illustrating how the variability of bacterial cultures affects biofilm formation. Our results emphasize how additional study at the single-cell level can enhance our understanding of bacterial adhesion, thus leading to novel antifouling technologies.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number108803
JournaliScience
Volume27
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 16 Feb 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Author(s)

Keywords

  • Microbiofilms
  • Polymer chemistry
  • Spectroscopy

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