(578b) Adhesion Force Measurements of Pseudomonas Denitrificans Using a Tribometer

Authors: 
Pesika, N., Tulane University
Abulencia, J. P., Manhattan College


Bacterial adhesion has several consequences ranging from pipe fouling to disease pathogenesis. Thus, the mechanism and magnitude of this adhesion is a major concern for a wide range of applications. Past experiments have traditionally performed single molecule force measurements using atomic force microscopy (AFM). Although the advantage of this technique is the sensitivity of the measurement, the nature of the AFM probe makes it difficult to estimate the adhesion force per unit area. To this end, we examined the potential of using a tribometer as an alternative technique to characterize and measure bacterial adhesion forces. Typically used to measure surface friction, its larger probe inherently provides a well defined area to quantify the adhesion force. In this experiment, we measure the magnitude of adhesion for the bacteria Pseudomonas denitrificans bound to glass slides. This particular strain was chosen because of its application in converting nitrates found in wastewater to nitrogen gas. Knowledge of this adhesion force may be useful in designing biofilm reactors or other treatment schemes that uses surface adhered Pseudomonas denitrificans in denitrification applications.