Physicochemical processes influencing biofilm formation

In order to investigate the physicochemical properties that influence biofilm formation we study both initial attachment of bacteria onto surfaces as well as the formation of biofilm with time. Both these processes are highly complex and depend on a vast number of variables that work together in different ways. Therefore, we investigate the processes using a multivariate approach. We use different model surfaces made from polymer brush coatings to incorporate a larger variety of surface characteristics. We also use a range of different bacterial strains that exhibit a variety of surface properties. The work started by investigations of a range of strains from the Gram-negative bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa, both laboratory strains and clinical isolates, and is now broadening to include other species.

In order to obtain increased understanding of molecular level processes governing the interactions between the bacterial cell and a polymeric brush surface we collaborate with the group of Prof Thereza Soares at University of Pernambuco in Brazil. This collaboration allows us to combine macroscopic physicochemical characteristics of the bacterial cell, from experimental observations, with an understanding of molecular level processes indicated from molecular dynamics simulations.

This work has been funded by the Carl Trygger Foundation and the Olle Engkvist Byggmästare Foundation. The international collaboration has been supported by an institutional grant from STINT, which is further described on this website.

Publications of interest:

2013, The surface charge of anti-bacterial coatings alters motility and biofilm architecture

2015, A multivariate approach to correlate surface properties and biofilm formation by lipopolysaccharide mutants of Pseudomonas aeruginosa

2014, Outer Membrane Remodeling: The Structural Dynamics of Rough Lipopolysaccharide Chemotypes - collaboration with the group of Prof. Thereza Soares

2018, Characterization of clinically relevant model bacterial strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa for anti-biofilm testing of materials

2019, Evaluating Efficacy of Antimicrobial and Antifouling Materials for Urinary Tract Medical Devices – Challenges and recommendations

2019, Conformational Dynamics and Responsiveness of Weak and Strong Polyelectrolyte Brushes: Atomistic Simulations of PDMAEMA and PMETAC