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Int J Biol Macromol. 1999 Oct;26(1):3-16.

The role of intermolecular interactions: studies on model systems for bacterial biofilms.

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Institut für Physikalische und Theoretische Chemie, Gerhard-Mercator-Universität GH Duisburg, Germany.


The mechanical stability of biofilms and other microbial aggregates is of great importance for both the maintenance of biofilm processes and the removal of undesired biofilms. The binding forces are weak interactions such as London dispersion forces, electrostatic interactions and hydrogen bonds. In a first attempt to rank their contribution, the viscosity of solutions of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) from a mucoid strain of Pseudomonas aeruginosa is measured. In order to distinguish the binding forces, substances are chosen which individually address the different types of bonds. Polyacrylic acid is identified as a suitable model system for EPS when molecular interactions are studied. Electrostatic interactions and hydrogen bonds are found to be the dominating forces among macromolecules within the biofilm.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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