Journal article

Quantifying adhesion of acidophilic bioleaching bacteria to silica and pyrite by atomic force microscopy with a bacterial probe

Mengxue Diao, Elena Taran, Stephen Mahler, Tuan AH Nguyen, Anh V Nguyen

Colloids and Surfaces B Biointerfaces | ELSEVIER | Published : 2014


The adhesion of acidophilic bacteria to mineral surfaces is an important phenomenon in bioleaching processes. In this study, functionalized colloidal probes covered by bioleaching bacterial cells (Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans and Leptospirillum ferrooxidans) were developed and used to sense specific adhesion forces to a silica surface and a pyrite surface in various solutions. Experimentally, recorded retraction curves of A. thiooxidans revealed sawtooth features that were in good agreement with the wormlike chain model, while that of L. ferrooxidans exhibited stair-step separation. The magnitudes of adhesion forces and snap-off distances were strongly influenced by the ionic strength and p..

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University of Melbourne Researchers