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Crit Rev Microbiol. 1991;18(2):159-73.

Basic and applied aspects of microbial adhesion at the hydrocarbon:water interface.

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Maurice and Gabriela Goldschleger School of Dental Medicine, Sackler School of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Ramat-Aviv, Israel.


Microbial hydrophobicity has been studied since 1924. During the last decade, various techniques have become available for measuring hydrophobic surface properties of microbial cells. This has led to a surge in investigations suggesting a role for hydrophobicity in adhesion of bacteria to an array of surfaces (oral surfaces, mineral particles, fatty meat, epithelial cells, phagocytes, biomaterials), partitioning at interfaces, as well as gliding mobility. The present manuscript comprises a critical, chronological look at the origins of microbial hydrophobicity research, its development, origins, and applications. Emphasis is placed on microbial adhesion to hydrocarbons, a technique with which the author has the most experience and research interest.

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