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How bacteria use electric fields to reach surfaces

Abstract : Electrotaxis is the property of cells to sense electric fields and use them to orient their displacement. This property has been widely investigated with eukaryotic cells but it remains unclear whether or not bacterial cells can sense an electric field. Here, a specific experimental set-up was designed to form microbial electroactive biofilms while differentiating the effect of the electric field from that of the polarised electrode surface. Application of an electric field during exposure of the electrodes to the inoculum was shown to be required for an electroactive biofilm to form afterwards. Similar biofilms were formed in both directions of the electric field. This result is attributed to the capacity of the cells to detect the K+ and Na+ ion gradients that the electric field creates at the electrode surface. This microbial property should now be considered as a key factor in the formation of electroactive biofilms and possible implications in the biomedical domain are discussed.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, June 1, 2021 - 11:01:52 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, June 3, 2021 - 3:36:26 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Thursday, September 2, 2021 - 6:29:24 PM


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Poehere Chong, Benjamin Erable, Alain Bergel. How bacteria use electric fields to reach surfaces. Biofilm, 2021, 3, pp.100048. ⟨10.1016/j.bioflm.2021.100048⟩. ⟨hal-03244371⟩



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