Role of hydrophobicity in bacterial adherence to carbon nanostructures and biofilm formation Journal Articles uri icon

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  • The role of cell and surface hydrophobicity in the adherence of the waterborne bacterium Mycobacterium smegmatis to nanostructures and biofilm formation was investigated. Carbon nanostructures (CNs) were synthesized using a flame reactor and deposited on stainless steel grids and foils, and on silicon wafers that had different initial surface hydrophobicities. Surface hydrophobicity was measured as the contact angle of water droplets. The surfaces were incubated in suspensions of isogenic hydrophobic and hydrophilic strains of M. smegmatis and temporal measurements of the numbers of adherent cells were made. The hydrophobic, rough mutant of M. smegmatis adhered more readily and formed denser biofilms on all surfaces compared to its hydrophilic, smooth parent. Biofilm formation led to alterations in the hydrophobicity of the substratum surfaces, demonstrating that bacterial cells attached to CNs are capable of modifying the surface characteristics.


  • Mazumder, Sonal
  • Falkinham, Joseph O
  • Dietrich, Andrea M
  • Puri, Ishwar

publication date

  • January 13, 2010