Dr. Megan Ferguson
The State University of New York at New Paltz
Department of Chemistry
Friday, March 18, 2022
12:00 Noon – Webex
Host: Drs. Lisa Kelly and Brian Cullum
“Probing Surface Chemical Properties of Bacteria with Atomic Force Microscopy”
In addition to collecting surface topography data, atomic force microscopy (AFM) can be used to measure surface physicochemical properties as the AFM cantilever is pressed into the sample surface and retracted. This is a particularly useful approach for learning about bacterial surface chemistry, since these AFM force curves can be collected on live cells in buffer. Information about lipopolysaccharides in the outer membrane, cell turgor pressure, and cell appendages can be extracted from graphs of force applied to the AFM cantilever versus distance pressed into the surface. These properties will be illustrated and compared for the predatory bacterium Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus in order to better understand B. bacteriovorus’ predatory capabilities and potential applications in industry or human health.