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Adhesion of single bacterial cells in the micronewton range.


ABSTRACT: The adhesion of bacteria to surfaces plays critical roles in the environment, disease, and industry. In aquatic environments, Caulobacter crescentus is one of the first colonizers of submerged surfaces. Using a micromanipulation technique, we measured the adhesion force of single C. crescentus cells attached to borosilicate substrates through their adhesive holdfast. The detachment forces measured for 14 cells ranged over 0.11 to 2.26 microN, averaging 0.59 +/- 0.62 microN. Based on the calculation of stress distribution with the finite element analysis method (dividing an object into small grids and calculating relevant parameters for all of the elements), the adhesion strength between the holdfast and the substrate is >68 N/mm(2) in the central region of contact. To our knowledge, this strength of adhesion is the strongest ever measured for biological adhesives.

SUBMITTER: Tsang PH 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC1458647 | BioStudies | 2006-01-01T00:00:00Z

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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