The ability of phages to specifically interact with and lyse their host bacteria makes them ideal antibacterial agents. The range of applications of bacteriophage can be extended by their immobilization on inert surfaces. A novel method for the oriented immobilization of bacteriophage has been developed. The method was based on charge differences between the bacteriophage head, which exhibits an overall net negative charge, and the tail fibers, which possess an overall net positive charge. Hence, the head would be more likely to attach to positively charged surfaces, leaving the tails free to capture and lyse bacteria. Cellulose membranes modified so that they had a positive surface charge were used as the support for phage immobilization. It was established that the number of infective phages immobilized on the positively charged cellulose membranes was significantly higher than that on unmodified membranes. Cocktails of phages active against
Listeriaor Escherichia coliimmobilized on these membranes were shown to effectively control the growth of L. monocytogenesand E. coliO157:H7 in ready-to-eat and raw meat, respectively, under different storage temperatures and packaging conditions. The phage storage stability was investigated to further extend their industrial applications. It was shown that lyophilization can be used as a phage-drying method to maintain their infectivity on the newly developed bioactive materials. In conclusion, utilizing the charge difference between phage heads and tails provided a simple technique for oriented immobilization applicable to a wide range of phages and allowed the retention of infectivity.