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Attachment of Escherichia coli to Artificial Plant Surfaces

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  2007 ASAE Annual Meeting  077026.(doi:10.13031/2013.23409)
Authors:   Bunpot Sirinutsomboon, Michael J Delwiche, Jeri D Barak
Keywords:   Artificial plant surface, Escherichia coli, Attachment, Microfabrication, Soft lithography

Consumption of fresh vegetables contaminated with pathogenic Escherichia coli has caused several recent outbreaks of foodborne disease. To avoid further outbreaks, the nature of the bacterial attachment to vegetable surface has been extensively studied in hope of finding a way to prevent the attachment. Nevertheless, the studied natural plant surfaces contain uncontrolled variables of both chemistry and topography, which result in doubtful deductions of the attachment nature. Our research is to study the E. coli attachment to the artificial plant surfaces, microfabricated by a replica molding method, one of soft lithography techniques, to have desired topography. The natural plant surface chemistry is also imitated by creating thin films of paraffin wax and cellulose acetate. In future work, the attachment strength examined by water flow shear stress testing will be performed. Also selected strains of E. coli with different extracellular characteristics, related to the attachment ability, will be studied. This research can help us understand the obscure nature of the E. coli attachment.

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