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Effect of Surface Microstructure on Bacterial Attachment

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

Citation:  2010 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, June 20 - June 23, 2010  1009875.(doi:10.13031/2013.30009)
Authors:   Bunpot - Sirinutsomboon, Michael J Delwiche, Glenn M Young
Keywords:   Attachment, Escherichia coli, plant surface, microfabrication, food safety.

Consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables contaminated with pathogenic bacteria has recently caused several outbreaks of foodborne disease. The nature of bacterial attachment to plant surfaces has been extensively studied to prevent contamination. Our study is to determine the effect of plant surface microstructure on bacterial attachment. Natural microstructures come in uncontrolled sizes and shapes. This causes difficulty in understanding the effect of microstructure. Microfabrication was used to build microstructures with desired dimensions and shapes into three types; stomata, trichomes, and grooves between plant epidermal cells. They were subjected to a culture for 48 h of Escherichia coli O137:H41 tagged with green florescent protein. Our results showed that the level of bacteria in an area with trichomes was about half of that in areas of stomata or grooves. Microstructure geometry affected bacterial attachment in our model system.

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