Detachment and successive re-attachment of multiple, reversibly-binding tethers result in irreversible bacterial adhesion to surfaces

Jelmer Sjollema, Henny C. van der Mei*, Connie L. Hall, Brandon W. Peterson, Joop de Vries, Lei Song, Ed D. de Jong, Henk J. Busscher, Jan J. T. M. Swartjes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Bacterial adhesion to surfaces occurs ubiquitously and is initially reversible, though becoming more irreversible within minutes after first contact with a surface. We here demonstrate for eight bacterial strains comprising four species, that bacteria adhere irreversibly to surfaces through multiple, reversibly-binding tethers that detach and successively re-attach, but not collectively detach to cause detachment of an entire bacterium. Arguments build on combining analyses of confined Brownian-motion of bacteria adhering to glass and their AFM force-distance curves and include the following observations: (1) force-distance curves showed detachment events indicative of multiple binding tethers, (2) vibration amplitudes of adhering bacteria parallel to a surface decreased with increasing adhesion-forces acting perpendicular to the surface, (3) nanoscopic displacements of bacteria with relatively long autocorrelation times up to several seconds, in absence of microscopic displacement, (4) increases in Mean-Squared-Displacement over prolonged time periods according to tα with 0<α≪1, indicative of confined displacement. Analysis of simulated position-maps of adhering particles using a new, in silico model confirmed that adhesion to surfaces is irreversible through detachment and successive re-attachment of reversibly-binding tethers. This makes bacterial adhesion mechanistically comparable with the irreversible adsorption of high-molecular-weight proteins to surfaces, mediated by multiple, reversibly-binding molecular segments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4369
Number of pages13
JournalScientific Reports
Volume7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29-Jun-2017

Keywords

  • ATOMIC-FORCE MICROSCOPY
  • STAPHYLOCOCCUS-AUREUS
  • HYDROPHOBIC SURFACES
  • NANOSCOPIC VIBRATIONS
  • STREPTOCOCCUS-MUTANS
  • ORAL STREPTOCOCCI
  • BIOFILM FORMATION
  • PARTICLE MOTION
  • PROTEIN
  • SPECTROSCOPY

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