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J Mater Sci Mater Med. 2009 Jan;20(1):195-202. doi: 10.1007/s10856-008-3555-6. Epub 2008 Aug 20.

An investigation of microbial adhesion to natural and synthetic polysaccharide-based films and its relationship with the surface energy components.

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The School of Biosciences, The University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonington, Loughborough, LE12 5RD, UK.


In recent years, polysaccharide-based films have been developed for many applications. Some of these are in the pharmaceutical industry, where the adhesion of microorganisms to surfaces is a concern. After adhesion of a microorganism to a solid surface has taken place, the subsequent biofilm formed can act as a vehicle for spreading infections. The aim of this study is to compare the bacterial adhesion of E. coli and S. aureus from a contaminated solid model (Tryptone Soya Agar) to a range of polysaccharide-based films. These polysaccharide-based films consist of different natural starches (potato, cassava, wheat, pea and rice) and synthetic polymers hydroxyl-propyl cellulose (HPC) and carboxyl methyl cellulose (CMC)). The surface energy parameters of the films were calculated from the contact angle measurements by the sessile drop method. Apolar and polar liquids (water, formamide and hexadecane) and the Lifshitz-Van der Waals/acid-base (LW/AB) approach were used according to the method of Van Oss, Chaundhury and Good. The surface properties of the films were also correlated to the microbial adhesion. This indicated that, for both E. coli and S. aureus, the surface roughness did not affect the microbial adhesion. Only gamma(sAB) had any correlation with the microbial adhesion and gamma(sLW) was almost constant for all the various polysaccharide films tested. In addition, the electron-donor properties of the materials, exhibited via gamma(s+), were positively correlated with the adhesion of S. aureus but not with E. coli. This was in agreement with the results of the MATS (Microbial Adhesion To Solvents) test performed on the two bacteria. This revealed that only S. aureus presented an electron-acceptor characteristic.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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