Send to

Choose Destination
Adv Colloid Interface Sci. 2002 Aug 5;98(3):341-463.

Analysis of different approaches for evaluation of surface energy of microbial cells by contact angle goniometry.

Author information

Division of Mineral Processing, LuleƄ University of Technology, Sweden.


Microbial adhesion on solid substrate is important in various fields of science. Mineral-microbe interactions alter the surface chemistry of the minerals and the adhesion of the bacterial cells to mineral surface is a prerequisite in several biobeneficiation processes. Apart from the surface charge and hydrophobic or hydrophilic character of the bacterial cells, the surface energy is a very important parameter influencing their adhesion on solid surfaces. There were many thermodynamic approaches in the literature to evaluate the cells surface energy. Although contact angle measurements with different liquids with known surface tension forms the basis in the calculation of the value of surface energy of solids, the results are different depending on the approach followed. In the present study, the surface energy of 140 bacterial and seven yeast cell surfaces has been studied following Fowkes, Equation of state, Geometric mean and Lifshitz-van der Waals acid-base (LW-AB) approaches. Two independent issues were addressed separately in our analysis. At first, the surface energy and the different components of the surface energy for microbial cells surface are examined. Secondly, the different approaches are evaluated for their internal consistency, similarities and dissimilarities. The Lifshitz-van der Waals component of surface energy for most of the microbial cells is realised to be approximately 40 mJ/m2 +/-10%. Equation of state and Geometric mean approaches do not possess any internal consistency and yield different results. The internal consistency of the LW-AB approach could be checked only by varying the apolar liquid and it evaluates coherent surface energy parameters by doing so. The electron-donor surface energy component remains exactly the same with the change of apolar liquid. This parameter could differentiate between the Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacterial cells. Gram-negative bacterial cells having higher electron-donor parameter had lower nitrogen, oxygen and phosphorous content on their cell surfaces. Among the four approaches, LW-AB was found to give the most consistent results. This approach provides more detailed information about the microbial cell surface and the electron-donor parameter differentiates different type of cell surfaces.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center