Researchers Measure Adhesion Strength of Single Microbial Cells with Plasmonic Probing

  • [2020-11-04]

    The research group led by Prof. LIU Xianwei from University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) measured the adhesion strength of single microbial cells, making great progress in microbial biofilm formation processes.

    This work was published on Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences of the United States of Americawith the title of “Plasmonic probing of the adhesion strength of single microbial cells”.

    Microbial biofilm is an important form of microbial aggregation growth. Initial microbial adhesion to surfaces is the most crucial step in biofilm formation. Understanding the micro process and mechanism of microbial adhesion is an important prerequisite for the regulation of biofilm and the development of water pollution control technology.

    The researchers demonstrated a method to measure the adhesion strength of single microbial cells based on an interferometric plasmonic imaging technique. They performed high-throughput tracking of single bacterial cells vibration behaviors at different interfaces.

    The interaction potential energy between microorganisms and interfaces was quantitatively analyzed, and the adhesion strength was rapidly determined.

    Imaging of the vertical fluctuation of adhered bacteria (Image by LIU Yinan et al.)

    This technology can not only be used to understand the formation process of biofilm, but also rapidly screen biological fillers and anti-biofilm materials. It is of great significance for the research and development of new water pollution control technology and biological pollution prevention and control technology.

    Paper link: https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2020/10/14/2010136117


    (Written by LU Hongyu, edited by JIANG Pengcen, USTC News Center)

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