Bacterial membrane formation monitored with atomic force microscopy and quartz crystal microbalance

Nadja Krska, José Luis Toca-Herrera


In this chapter, we show the potential of two analytical techniques, atomic force microscopy (AFM) and quartz crystal microbalance (QCM-D), to study the behaviour of molecues at (soft) interfaces. In this manuscript, bacterial protein (SbpA) adsorption, self-assembly and (nano)crystal formation has been investigated as a function of protein concentration with AFM and QCM-D.  The results indicate that SbpA proteins adsorb though diffusion. Crystalline S-layers (of P4 square lattice), are formed at protein concentrations of 1 mg/ml and 0.1 mg/ml. We observed that a protein concentration of 0.0001 mg/ml did not form  crystalline patches.  The adsorbed protein mass per unit area was 1930 ng/cm2, 1800 ng/cm2, and 108 ng/cm2 for protein concentrations of 1 mg/ml, 0.1 mg/ml and 0.0001 mg/ml respectively.

Palabras clave

adsorption kinetics, bacterial crystal formation, self-assembly, S-layers

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