Understanding the interaction between surfaces coated with polymers and biofilms

 

Understand surface modification effect on Biofilm adhesion and removal on flat solid surfaces

 

Selected ESR: Kamila Jankowska

Supervisor Name: Claudio Rossi, Marco Consumi

Industrial Supervisors: Anju Brooker, Kevin Wright

Recruiting Organisation: CSGI at Siena University, Siena, Italy

 

The main objective of the project is understanding the initial bacterial attachment onto a variety of solid surfaces. The experiments are designed to evaluate the difference of initial attachment mechanism between gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria species. The presence of nutrients in bacterial suspension and variety of pH value are also examined correlate to materials surface chemistry and bacterial species. 

The initial bacterial attachment and the biofilm evolution on hard surfaces is studied via Attenuated Total Reflectance-Fourier Transformation Infrared Spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR). This technique allows for tracking the changes occurring on biointerface in real time without any sample intervention. Based on the information obtained via ATR-FTIR technique we can describe the impact of surface chemistry on bacterial cells attachment and the biofilm formation. 

The second method using in the project is Time-of-Flight Second Ions Mass Spectrometry (TOF-SIMS). The method provides chemical map, i.e. chemical distribution on surfaces. It provides information of the topmost layer around 1-2 nm including elements, isotopes and molecules like polymers and organic compounds present in the samples. 

The fluorescent microscopy is also used for surface examination with bacteria inoculated on them. The microscopic pictures are converted to numerical data. The final information obtained is an estimation of the surface area occupied by bacteria after adequate time from inoculation.