Influence of biosurfactant on interactive forces between mutans streptococci and enamel measured by atomic force microscopy

CG van Hoogmoed*, RJB Dijkstra, HC van der Mei, HJ Busscher

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Although interactive forces, influenced by environmental conditions, between oral bacteria and tooth surfaces are important for the development of plaque, they have never been estimated. It is hypothesized that interactive forces, as measured by atomic force microscopy, between enamel with or without a pellicle and two strains of mutans streptococci become less attractive by the application of a Streptococcus mitis BMS biosurfactant coating. Upon approach of each of the strains toward bare and pellicle-coated enamel, adsorbed biosurfactant increased the range of the repulsive forces. Upon retraction of the enamel surface, small adhesion forces (0.8-0.9 nN) were measured for bare enamel that almost disappeared after biosurfactant coating. The prevalence and magnitude of the adhesion forces also decreased upon pellicle-coating of the enamel, with a minor effect of adsorbed biosurfactant. These findings indicate that adsorbed S. mitis BMS biosurfactant changes the interactive forces between the mutans streptococci studied and enamel, explaining the effects of biosurfactant on adhesion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-58
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Dental Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan-2006


  • enamel
  • pellicle
  • biosurfactant
  • microbial adhesion forces
  • atomic force microscopy

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