Immobilization of bacteriophages on modified silica particles
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Bacteriophages are selective anti-bacterial agents, which are receiving increasing acceptance by regulatory agencies for use both in the food industry and in clinical settings for biocontrol. While immobilized phage could be particularly useful to create antimicrobial surfaces, current immobilization strategies require chemical bioconjugation to surfaces or more difficult processes involving modification of their head proteins to express specific binding moieties, for example, biotin or cellulose binding domains; procedures that are both time and money intensive. We report that morphologically different bacteriophages, active against a variety of food-borne bacteria: Escherichia coli; Salmonella enterica; Listeria monocytogenes; and Shigella boydii, will effectively physisorb to silica particles, prepared by silica surface modification with poly(ethylene glycol), carboxylic acid groups, or amines. The phages remain infective to their host bacteria while adsorbed on the surface of the silica particles. The number of infective phage bound to the silica is enhanced by the presence of ionic surfaces, with greater surface charge - to a maximum - correlating with greater concentration of adsorbed phage. Above the maximum charge concentration, the number of active phage drops.
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