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Electrotaxis and Electrical Property Quantification of Pathogenic Bacteria Using Microfluidics and Nanoscale Imaging

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Title: Electrotaxis and Electrical Property Quantification of Pathogenic Bacteria Using Microfluidics and Nanoscale Imaging
Author: Berthelot, Ryan
Department: School of Engineering
Program: Biophysics
Advisor: Neethirajan, Suresh
Abstract: The recalcitrant nature of biofilms combined with the increase of antimicrobial resistance has led to a rise in complications and cost in the treatment of wounded individuals. Though the characterization of electrical properties of bacteria and controlling for bacterial motility has been widely researched in bulk populations, studies at the single cellular level are relatively novel. Furthermore, studies at the single cellular level may be superior, as the results are not subject to the complex characteristics inherent in large populations of bacteria. This study investigates the adhesion kinetics and motility mechanisms of single bacterial cells using conductive atomic force microscopy (ResiScope module) and microfluidic platforms. Previous research involving ResiScope has focused on characterization of inorganic samples. Our study develops a unique methodology for measuring the resistance of individual bacterial cells as well as other biological molecules such as peptidoglycan. Additionally, microfluidic platforms were used to study the effects of electrical microcurrents, alone and in combination with acetic acid, on the motility of single P. aeruginosa and E. coli cells. Understanding the electrical properties of bacteria adhered to surfaces and the influence of electricity over cellular motility can aid in the development of strategies for antifouling tools and wound-healing techniques without the danger of contributing to antimicrobial resistance.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/11471
Date: 2017-08-30


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