It is well understood that bacterial cell density, surface charge, and the presence of various microbially produced compounds, such as exopolysaccharides, are crucial in the process of cellular adhesion. However, physicochemical features, such as pH, temperature, composition of growth media and surface conditioning factors, also affect surface attachment.
Researchers at the University of Edinburgh have used a polymer-based microarray platform to identify novel materials which bind or not to the major food-borne pathogenic bacterium Salmonella enterica serovar typhimurium (S. Typhimurium - strain SL1344), which is of global clinical and veterinary importance, and to the commensal bacterium Escherichia coli (E. coli - strain W3110).
This resulted in a range of novel polymers that can selectively bind or repel these different bacterial strains, which provides for a multitude of downstream applications.
- Rapid isolation of hospital pathogens
- Capture of bacteria, spores or viruses on cleaning materials used in clinical, industrial or domestic environments
- Selective reduction of pathogen loads via animal feeds
- Minimisation of surface contamination on medical devices (e.g. surgical implants and orthodontic devices)
- Repellent packaging for food preparation
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