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Title: Internal hydration properties of single bacterial endospores probed by electrostatic force microscopy
Author: Van Der Hofstadt, Marc
Fabregas, Rene
Millan-Solsona, Ruben
Juarez, Antonio
Fumagalli, Laura, 1959-
Gomila Lluch, Gabriel
Keywords: Espores (Bacteris)
Microscòpia de força atòmica
Bacterial spores
Atomic force microscopy
Issue Date: 28-Nov-2016
Publisher: American Chemical Society
Abstract: We show that the internal hydration properties of single Bacillus cereus endospores in air under different relative humidity (RH) conditions can be determined through the measurement of its electric permittivity by means of quantitative electrostatic force microscopy (EFM). We show that an increase in the RH from 0% to 80% induces a large increase in the equivalent homogeneous relative electric permittivity of the bacterial endospores, from ∼4 up to ∼17, accompanied only by a small increase in the endospore height, of just a few nanometers. These results correlate the increase of the moisture content of the endospore with the corresponding increase of environmental RH. Three-dimensional finite element numerical calculations, which include the internal structure of the endospores, indicate that the moisture is mainly accumulated in the external layers of the endospore, hence preserving the core of the endospore at low hydration levels. This mechanism is different from what we observe for vegetative bacterial cells of the same species, in which the cell wall at high humid atmospheric conditions is not able to preserve the cytoplasmic region at low hydration levels. These results show the potential of quantitative EFM under environmental humidity control to study the hygroscopic properties of small-scale biological (and nonbiological) entities and to determine its internal hydration state. A better understanding of nanohygroscopic properties can be of relevance in the study of essential biological processes and in the design of bionanotechnological applications
Note: Versió postprint del document publicat a:
It is part of: ACS Nano, 2016, vol. 10, num. 12, p. 11327-11336
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ISSN: 1936-0851
Appears in Collections:Articles publicats en revistes (Electrònica)

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