Measurement of the surface free energy of bacterial cell surfaces and its relevance for adhesion

H. J. Busscher*, A. H. Weerkamp, H. C. van der Mei, A. W. J. van Pelt, H. P. de Jong, J. Arends

*Corresponding author for this work

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    Abstract

    An experimental technique is described to determine contact angles on bacterial layers deposited on cellulose triacetate filters. Measurements with water, water-n-propanol mixtures, and alpha-bromonaphthalene were employed to calculate surface free energies of various oral bacteria. Differences of 30 to 40 erg cm-2 were obtained for four different bacterial species isolated from the human oral cavity, if the concept of dispersion and polar surface free energies is applied. The free energies obtained were used to calculate interfacial free energies of adhesion of these bacteria from saliva onto tooth surfaces. Bacterial adhesion is energetically unfavorable, if the enamel surface free energy is less than 50 erg cm-2.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)980-983
    Number of pages4
    JournalApplied and environmental microbiology
    Volume48
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 1984

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