The significance of calcium ions on Pseudomonas fluorescens biofilms - a structural and mechanical study

Ashkan Safari, Olivier Habimana, Ashley Allen, Eoin Casey*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of calcium ions on the structural and mechanical properties of Pseudomonas fluorescens biofilms grown for 48 h. Advanced investigative techniques such as confocal laser scanning microscopy and atomic force spectroscopy were employed to characterize biofilm structure as well as biofilm mechanical properties following growth at different calcium concentrations. The presence of calcium during biofilm development led to higher surface coverage with distinct structural phenotypes in the form of a granular and heterogeneous surface, compared with the smoother and homogeneous biofilm surface in the absence of calcium. The presence of calcium also increased the adhesive nature of the biofilm, while reducing its elastic properties. These results suggest that calcium ions could have a functional role in biofilm development and have practical implications, for example, in analysis of biofouling in membrane-based water-treatment processes such as nanofiltration or reverse osmosis where elevated calcium concentrations may occur at the solid-liquid interface.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)859-869
Number of pages11
JournalBiofouling
Volume30
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Pseudomonas fluorescens
  • Young's modulus
  • biofilm
  • force spectroscopy

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