SKM 2023 – wissenschaftliches Programm

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BP: Fachverband Biologische Physik

BP 12: Biopolymers and Biomaterials (joint session BP/CPP)

BP 12.4: Hauptvortrag

Mittwoch, 29. März 2023, 10:15–10:45, TOE 317

Materials properties of bacterial biofilms. — •Cécile M. Bidan — Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Department of Biomaterials, Potsdam, Germany

As bio-sourced materials are raising interest for their sustainability, using bacteria to produce biofilms made of a protein and polysaccharide matrix has become a new strategy to make engineered living materials with various functionalities. Our group contributes to this emerging field by clarifying how bacteria adapt biofilm materials properties to the environment. For this, we culture E. coli producing curli amyloid and phosphoethanolamine-cellulose fibers on nutritive agar substrates with varying physico-chemical properties and study the growth, morphology and mechanical properties of the resulting biofilms. We demonstrated that changing the properties of the agar substrate with polyelectrolyte coatings or by varying the water content the bulk properties of the agar affects E. coli biofilm growth, morphology and mechanical properties. We also used E. coli producing only amyloid fibers and focus on the matrix structural and functional changes at the molecular scale. To assess the contribution of each matrix component to the macroscopic biofilm materials properties, we compared the characteristics of biofilms produced by a collection of E. coli mutants differing in the matrix they produce. The results indicate that E. coli biofilm matrix is a composite made of rigid and brittle curli amyloid fibers assembled within a mesh of soft and adhesive phosphoethanolamine-cellulose fibers. Finally, we explored how treating biofilms with ionic solutions can help tuning further their properties.

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