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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Riverside, California » Agricultural Water Efficiency and Salinity Research Unit » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #351142

Research Project: Identifying, Quantifying and Tracking Microbial Contaminants, Antibiotics and Antibiotic Resistance Genes in Order to Protect Food and Water Supplies

Location: Agricultural Water Efficiency and Salinity Research Unit

Title: Comparison of types and amounts of nanoscale heterogeneity on bacteria retention

item Bradford, Scott
item SASIDHARAN, SALINI - University Of California
item KIM, HYUNJUNG - Chonbuk National University
item HWANG, GUKHWA - Chonbuk National University

Submitted to: Frontiers in Environmental Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/28/2018
Publication Date: 6/14/2018
Citation: Bradford, S.A., Sasidharan, S., Kim, H., Hwang, G. 2018. Comparison of types and amounts of nanoscale heterogeneity on bacteria retention. Frontiers in Environmental Science. 6:56.

Interpretive Summary: Soil, sediment, and microorganism surfaces exhibit variations in roughness and chemical properties that influence the interaction of microorganisms with these surfaces. An approach was developed to predict microbial interactions with heterogeneous surfaces. Results revealed a complex dependency of microbial interactions on the type and amount of heterogeneity. Roughness was shown to dominate the microbial interaction over a wide range and types of chemical heterogeneities. The influence of chemical heterogeneity type on microbial interactions became more appear on smooth surfaces, and their relative importance changed with the solution chemistry and chemical heterogeneity parameters. This information will be of interest to scientists and engineers concerned with microbial interactions in the environmental and industrial applications.

Technical Abstract: Interaction energy calculations that assume smooth and chemically homogeneous surfaces are commonly conducted to explain bacteria retention on solid surfaces, but experiments frequently exhibit signification deviations from these predictions. A potential explanation for these inconsistencies is the ubiquitous presence of nanoscale roughness (NR) and chemical heterogeneity (CH) arising from spatial variability in charge (CH1), Hamaker constant (CH2), and contact angles (CH3) on these surfaces. We present a method to determine the mean interaction energy between a colloid and a solid-water-interface (SWI) when both surfaces contained binary NR and CH. This approach accounts for double layer, van der Waals, Lewis acid-base, and Born interactions. We investigate the influence of NR and CH parameters and solution ionic strength (IS) on interaction energy profiles between hydrophilic and hydrophobic bacteria and the SWI. Increases in CH1 and CH3 reduce the energy barrier and create deeper primary minima on net electrostatically unfavorable surfaces, whereas increasing CH2 diminishes the contribution of the van der Waals interaction in comparison to quartz and makes a more repulsive surface. However, these roles of CH are always greatest on smooth surfaces with larger fractions of CH. In general, increasing CH1 and CH3 have a larger influence on bacteria retention under lower IS conditions, whereas the influence of increasing CH2 is more apparent under higher IS conditions. However, interaction energy profiles are mainly dominated by small fractions of NR, which dramatically lower the energy barrier height and the depths of both the secondary and primary minima. This significantly increases the relative importance of primary to secondary minima interactions on net electrostatically unfavorable surfaces, especially for conditions that produce small energy barriers on smooth surfaces. Energy balance calculations indicatethat this primary minimum is sometimes susceptible to diffusive removal depending on the NR and CH parameters.