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Atomic Force Spectroscopy Evidence of Non-Specific Adhesion of Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans

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Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans is a gram-negative periodontopathogen found within the subgingival plaque on the tooth surface. It is associated with localized aggressive periodontitis, a severe form of periodontitis in adolescents, and is the cause various extra-oral infections. The ability of this organism to tenaciously adhere to abiotic surfaces has been attributed to bundle-forming type IVb-like fimbriae whose major component is the fimbrial lower molecular weight protein (Flp). In this study the adhesion of purified Flp fimbriae isolated from A. actinomycetemcomitans to materials with different surface chemistries was measured using atomic force microscopy (AFM). The adhesion of Flp fimbriae to uncoated and saliva-coated tooth, hydroxylapatite, and glass surfaces was compared. Force data were used to quantify the magnitude of adhesion of the fimbriae and force-distance profiles were used to predict the mechanisms of adhesion. The results of this study confirm that non-specific interactions likely dominate the adhesion of these fimbriae to the surfaces used in this study. However, force data indicate that non-specific electrostatic interactions may be more significant under the conditions used in this study. Salivary coatings did affect both the hydrophobicity and adhesion of these fimbriae to the surfaces used in this study. Additionally, these data demonstrate the affect of salivary proteins on bacterial adhesion in the oral cavity.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2011-10-01

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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