Colloids and surfaces. B, Biointerfaces

Effect of energy source, salt concentration and loading force on colloidal interactions between Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans cells and mineral surfaces.

PMID 26057245


The surface appendages and extracellular polymeric substances of cells play an important role in the bacterial adhesion process. In this work, colloidal forces and nanomechanical properties of Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans (A. f) interacted with silicon wafer and pyrite (FeS2) surfaces in solutions of varying salt concentrations were quantitatively examined using the bacterial probe technique with atomic force microscopy. A. f cells were cultured with either ferrous sulfate or elemental sulfur as key energy sources. Our results show that A. f cells grown with ferrous ion and elemental sulfur exhibit distinctive retraction force vs separation distance curves with stair-step and saw tooth shapes, respectively. During the approach of bacterial probes to the substrate surfaces, surface appendages and biopolymers of cells are sequentially compressed. The conformations of surface appendages and biopolymers are significantly influenced by the salt concentrations.