Faculty Advisor

Camesano, Terri Anne


Bacterial adhesion is the initial step towards the establishment of a biofilm and the process can be influenced by a number of environmental factors, including salt concentration of the bulk solution. This study investigated the influence of ionic strength on the elasticity of bacteria cell surface appendages by Quantitative Nanomechanical Atomic Force Microscopy. It was determined that decrease in ionic strength decreased the Young’s modulus and increased the deformation of the cell surface appendages of two Streptococcus strains. These results confirm predictions of the adhesive bond stiffness of the two strains based on the Quartz Crystal Microbalance Coupled Resonance Model. This study will facilitate the development of methods to prevent bacterial adhesion and dissemination.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

April 2012


Chemical Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Chemical Engineering

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