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Escherichia coli removal from model substrates: Underlying mechanism based on nanofluid structural forces

Shim, Jiyoung, Nikolov, Alex, Wasan, Darsh
Journal of colloid and interface science 2017 v.498 pp. 112-122
Escherichia coli K12, adsorption, aqueous solutions, bacteria, bacterial adhesion, energy, fluorescence microscopes, foodborne illness, glass, hydrophobicity, light scattering, models, nanofluids, nanoparticles, pH, poly(vinyl chloride), sodium dodecyl sulfate, sorption isotherms, surface area
Understanding the interactions between bacteria and solid surfaces that result in bacterial adhesion and removal is of immense importance for reducing foodborne illness outbreaks. A nanofluid formulation comprised of a sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) micellar aqueous solution in the presence of an organic acid (as a pH controller) was used to test the E. coli K12 removal from two substrates, polyvinylchloride (PVC) and partially hydrophobic glass. We investigated the bacterial removal efficacy based on the combined effect of the nanofluid’s structural forces and bacterial isoelectric point.To quantify the bacteria-PVC coverage, we used fluorescence microscope. The Langmuir isotherm at the low volume fraction was applied to estimate the adsorption energy of E. coli K12. We obtained a value of about 2.5±0.2kT. This value compared favorably with the value of 2.1kT reported previously for E. coli NCTC 9002 (Vanloosdrecht et al., 1989). We applied the dynamic light scattering method to estimate the radius of the gyration of E. coli K12. The radius of the gyration was used to estimate the limit of surface area covered by the bacterium and compared it to the surface area measured from the image taken with fluorescence microscope. We found that they are in good agreement with each other.We modeled the nanofluid oscillatory structural energy against the E. coli K12 adsorption energy by applying the statistical mechanics approach. Based on the model prediction, the oscillatory interaction energy was estimated at the vertex between a bacterium and the substrate (i.e., the wedge film’s interaction energy at one particle layer). The evaluated film’s repulsive energy due to the oscillatory structural forces (OSF) was about 15.6±4.4kT of the 0.02M SMNF (the SDS micellar nanofluid formulation) and several times higher than the bacterial adsorption energy, 2.5±0.2kT. The OSF of the 0.06M SMNF was measured by AFM (the oscillatory decay force curve). The period and number of oscillations versus distance was annualized and used to obtain information for the effective size of the nanoparticles and nanofluid’s effective volume fraction. These findings suggest that the OSF is capable of bacteria/microorganism removal from contaminated substrates.