Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Atomic force microscope used to measure how well live bacteria stick

10.09.2003


Goal is to create better filters



Virginia Tech researchers are using a modified form of atomic force microscopy (AFM) to observe at subatomic levels the efficiency of the attachment of bacteria to silica surfaces.

The geological scientists are simulating environments similar to ground water in sandy soils. Sticking efficiency of bacteria has not been previously measured experimentally using the AFM.


Graduate student Tracy Cail will report the research results at the 226th American Chemical Society National Meeting in New York City September 7-11.

She reported in March on her initial experiments to see if the AFM could be used to measure sticking efficiencies at the nanoscale (www.innovations-report.com/html/reports/environment_sciences/report-17304.html) - also the first such experiments. Virginia Tech researchers have developed a cantilever for use in the AFM that allows them to study the attractions between microparticles.

"The same technique can also be applied to natural systems," she says.

Cail is developing a new method for predicting how bacteria and other contaminants can be transported in groundwater. "If we understand how they stick to various surfaces then we can use the information to design filters," she says.

For her research, Cail is using the bacteria, Enterococcus faecalis, because they are easy to model. "They look like the carboxylated polystyrene beads I used to do the initial work with the AFM. They are spherical, hard, and smooth, and are about 1 micron."

The bacteria are also plentiful. "They thrive in the Virginia Tech duck pond. They live naturally in human intestines but are serious hospital pathogens," she says.

"I’m looking at groundwater applications, but there is an area for expansion in terms of controls in hospital environments," she adds.

She found that Enterococcus faecalis are surprisingly robust. "They survived being put in a vacuum, long periods without food, and the imaging process."

Cail and geological sciences professor Michael Hochella Jr. will present "Measured sticking efficiencies of Enterococcus faecalis using atomic force microscopy" during the Division of Geochemistry poster session, 6 to 8 p.m., Tuesday, Sept.9, in the Javits Convention Center North Pavillion.

Cail will complete her Ph.D. in geological sciences from Virginia Tech in December and work as a postdoctoral associate at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the area of contaminant transport. A native of Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada, she did her undergraduate work at St Francis Xavier University and her master’s degree work at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.


Researchers’ contact information: Tracy Cail at tcail@vt.edu or 540-231-8575, or her major professor and co-author Michael F. Hochella Jr. at 540-231-6227 or hochella@vt.edu.

Susan Trulove | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.technews.vt.edu/
http://www.innovations-report.com/html/reports/environment_sciences/report-17304.html

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Preservation of floodplains is flood protection
27.09.2017 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Conservationists are sounding the alarm: parrots much more threatened than assumed
15.09.2017 | Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Ocean atmosphere rife with microbes

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

Neutrons observe vitamin B6-dependent enzyme activity useful for drug development

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

NASA finds newly formed tropical storm lan over open waters

17.10.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>