Impact of confining 3-D polymer networks on dynamics of bacterial ingress and self-organisation

Truong, V, Mainwaring, D, Murugaraj, P, Nguyen, D and Ivanova, E 2015, 'Impact of confining 3-D polymer networks on dynamics of bacterial ingress and self-organisation', Journal of Materials Chemistry B, vol. 3, no. 44, pp. 8704-8710.

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Impact of confining 3-D polymer networks on dynamics of bacterial ingress and self-organisation
Author(s) Truong, V
Mainwaring, D
Murugaraj, P
Nguyen, D
Ivanova, E
Year 2015
Journal name Journal of Materials Chemistry B
Volume number 3
Issue number 44
Start page 8704
End page 8710
Total pages 7
Publisher Royal Society of Chemistry
Abstract Studies of microbial interactions during motility, micro-structuring and colonisation have predominately been limited to surface associated bacteria involving materials such as semi-solid biomolecular hydrogels and thin liquid films. Recently, these surfaces have been extended to synthetic polymers where they provide defined chemistries and structural properties. However, precise details of microbial ingress into the confined fluid volume of synthetic 3-D hydrogel networks and their subsequent microstructuring remain to be defined. Here, we show that Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria internally populate mesoporous polyacrylate hydrogels by quantifying: the dynamic advancing population front and the resultant spontaneous self-organisation into well-defined clusters and micro-colonies. Polymer chain conjugated fluorescent nanoparticles indicated that both bacterial clusters and micro-colonies associated directly with the polymer chains of the mesoporous hydrogel. Protonation of the K-polyacrylate made chains more hydrophobic and globular in conformation, reducing the swelling of the hydrogel by half. However, the bacterial population increased by 30% indicating the dominance of hydrophobic and viscoelastic interactions as well as the cation chemistry within the confined fluids of synthetic polymer hydrogels despite pore size reductions of 50%. Synthetic polymer hydrogels having a range of porosities when swollen together with controllable chemical and structural functionality can potentially offer well-defined microenvironments for bacterial populations in advancing biotechnologies such as inoculants and substrates in the production of therapeutic agents.
Subject Nanobiotechnology
DOI - identifier 10.1039/c5tb01880c
Copyright notice The journal is © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2015
ISSN 2050-7518
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