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Issue 21, 2011
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Adhesive properties of Staphylococcus epidermidis probed by atomic force microscopy

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Abstract

Mapping of the surface properties of Staphylococcus epidermidis and of biofilm forming bacteria in general is a key to understand their functions, particularly their adhesive properties. To gain a comprehensive view of the structural and chemical properties of S. epidermidis, four different strains (biofilm positive and biofilm negative strains) were analyzed using in situatomic force microscopy (AFM). Force measurements performed using bare hydrophilic silicon nitride tips disclosed similar adhesive properties for each strain. However, use of hydrophobic tips showed that hydrophobic forces are not the driving forces for adhesion of the four strains. Rather, the observation of sawtooth force–distance patterns on the surface of biofilm positive strains documents the presence of modular proteins such as Aap that may mediate cell adhesion. Treatment of two biofilm positive strains with two chemical inhibitor compounds leads to a loss of adhesion, suggesting that AFM could be a valuable tool to screen for anti-adhesion molecules.

Graphical abstract: Adhesive properties of Staphylococcus epidermidis probed by atomic force microscopy

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Publication details

The article was received on 06 Dec 2010, accepted on 01 Feb 2011 and first published on 25 Feb 2011


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C0CP02800B
Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2011,13, 9995-10003
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    Adhesive properties of Staphylococcus epidermidis probed by atomic force microscopy

    Y. Hu, J. Ulstrup, J. Zhang, S. Molin and V. Dupres, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2011, 13, 9995
    DOI: 10.1039/C0CP02800B

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