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, 29 (4), 413-21

The Effect of Alginate Oligosaccharides on the Mechanical Properties of Gram-negative Biofilms

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The Effect of Alginate Oligosaccharides on the Mechanical Properties of Gram-negative Biofilms

Lydia C Powell et al. Biofouling.

Abstract

The influence of a novel, safe antibiofilm therapy on the mechanical properties of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Acinetobacter baumannii biofilms in vitro was characterized. A multiscale approach employing atomic force microscopy (AFM) and rheometry was used to quantify the mechanical disruption of the biofilms by a therapeutic polymer based on a low-molecular weight alginate oligosaccharide (OligoG). AFM demonstrated structural alterations in the biofilms exposed to OligoG, with significantly lower Young's moduli than the untreated biofilms, (149 MPa vs 242 MPa; p < 0.05), a decreased resistance to hydrodynamic shear and an increased surface irregularity (Ra) in the untreated controls (35.2 nm ± 7.6 vs 12.1 nm ± 5.4; p < 0.05). Rheology demonstrated that increasing clinically relevant concentrations of OligoG (<10%) were associated with an increasing phase angle (δ) over a wide range of frequencies (0.1-10 Hz). These results highlight the utility of these techniques for the study of three-dimensional biofilms and for quantifying novel disruption therapies in vitro.

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