Chemical and Physical Interactions in Bacterial Adhesion and Transport

Friday, January 28,, 2005, 3:30 PM

Room 825 SWM Building

Professor Menachem Elimelech
Department of Chemical Engineering
Environmental Engineering Program
Yale University

A combination of experimental systems was utilized to investigate the physical and chemical interactions controlling bacterial adhesion and transport in aquatic systems. The transport and adhesion kinetics of several mutants of the E. coli K12 strain having varying, but well characterized lipopolysaccharide (LPS) length and composition were examined in a radial stagnation point flow system and a standard packed-bed chromatographic column. Breakthrough curves from columns packed with ultra pure quartz grains were used to determine deposition (adhesion) rates for bacterial cells as a function of pore fluid ionic strength. Complimentary adhesion kinetics experiments using a radial stagnation point flow system have been conducted under identical chemical and hydrodynamic conditions. Initial bacterial cell deposition rates are compared with column breakthrough data and the results are used to highlight the controlling mechanisms of bacterial adhesion to solid surfaces in aquatic systems.