Effect of collagen, EPS content and antibiofilm agent on apparent viscoelasticity of Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacterial biofilms



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Pseudomonas Aeruginosa is a well-known opportunistic pathogen that causes thousands of deaths and amputations among chronic Cystic Fibrosis & immune-compromised patients as well as billions of dollars increased cost in health industry. This microbe is notorious for its extreme persistence & antibiotic resistance due to the ability of forming sessile colony under the protection of glue-like, slimy visco-elastic material called “biofilm”. Biofilms are mainly composed of various extra-cellular polymeric (EPS) components along with e-DNA, water, proteins etc. Moreover, in chronic wounds, biofilms are exposed to the host extracellular matrix, of which collagen is a major component. How bacterial EPS interacts with host collagen and whether this interaction affects biofilm viscoelasticity is not well understood. Specifically, how such interaction affects viscoelasticity, which plays an important role in biofilm stability and architecture, is still ambiguous. Given that mechanical disruption of biofilms is often used in treatment, characterization of collagen’s effects on biofilm viscoelasticity may enable new removal strategies. Hence, efforts have been made using particle tracking based passive microrheology to characterize nine different EPS knockout strains of P. aeruginosa bacterial biofilm in the presence of different concentrations of collagen in in-vitro wound model that may mimic in-vivo physiological conditions. Meanwhile, a novel ex-vivo mouse wound model was developed to elucidate the role of EPS components on in-vivo biofilm mechanics which may be important to design therapeutic surgery. Additionally, Particle Tracking Microrheology was employed on four (4) EPS degrading enzymes in comparison to biofilm dispersal signaling inducer agent (cis-2-da) of mature biofilm to investigate the rheological contributions of anti-biofilm agents.

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P. Aeruginosa, Extra-Cellular Polysaccharide (EPS), Particle Tracking Micro-Rheology, Collagen, Creep Compliance, Anti-Biofilm Agent, Bacterial Biofilm