Surface-specific nonlinear vibrational spectroscopy, combined with bulk solution measurements and imaging, is used to study the surface conditions during the growth of E. coli. As a result of the silica high surface charge density, the water structure at the silica–aqueous interface is known to be especially sensitive to pH and ionic strength, and surface concentration profiles develop that can be appreciably different from the bulk solution conditions. We illustrate that, in the presence of growing cells, a unique surface micro-environment is established as a result of metabolites accumulating on the silica surface. Even in the subsequent absence of the cells, this surface layer works to reduce the interfacial ionic strength as revealed by the enhanced signal from surface water molecules. In the presence of growing cells, an additional boost in surface water signal is attributed to a local pH that is higher than that of the bulk solution.
Ions, metabolites, and cells: Water as a reporter of surface conditions during bacterial growth
Tasha A. Jarisz, Sarah Lane, Lea Gozdzialski, Dennis K. Hore; Ions, metabolites, and cells: Water as a reporter of surface conditions during bacterial growth. J. Chem. Phys. 14 June 2018; 148 (22): 222825. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5023748
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