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Use of spherical particles to understand conidial attachment to surfaces using atomic force microscopy

Amin, M and Preuss, A and Deisenroth, T and Liauw, CM and Verran, J and Whitehead, KA (2020) Use of spherical particles to understand conidial attachment to surfaces using atomic force microscopy. iScience, 24 (1).

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Abstract

Binding of particles and spores to surfaces is a natural phenomenon which is a prerequisite for biofilm formation. Perpendicular force measurements were carried out using atomic force microscopy cantilevers modified with a polystyrene or glass sphere. The attachment of the spheres was tested against glass, PVAc, p(g-MPSco-MMA), p(g-MPS-co-LMA), PMMAsc, and silicon surfaces. The polystyrene spheres demonstrated less varied force and strength of attachment measurement to the surfaces than the glass spheres. The force of attachment of the polystyrene spheres was also influenced by mobility of the co-polymer surfaces. Surface wettability did not affect the force of polystyrene or glass sphere attachment. The force measurements of the non-biological spheres were similar to those seen in biological systems with fungal conidia, and this was due to their size, shape, and binding energies. The use of non-biological systems may present an insight into understanding the fundamentals of more complex biological processes.

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