Metal ions weaken the hydrophobicity and antibiotic resistance of Bacillus subtilis NCIB 3610 biofilms

Carolina Falcón García, Martin Kretschmer, Carlos N Lozano-Andrade, Markus Schönleitner, Anna Dragoŝ, Ákos T Kovács, Oliver Lieleg

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Abstract

Surface superhydrophobicity makes bacterial biofilms very difficult to fight, and it is a combination of their matrix composition and complex surface roughness which synergistically protects these biomaterials from wetting. Although trying to eradicate biofilms with aqueous (antibiotic) solutions is common practice, this can be a futile approach if the biofilms have superhydrophobic properties. To date, there are not many options available to reduce the liquid repellency of biofilms or to prevent this material property from developing. Here, we present a solution to this challenge. We demonstrate how the addition of metal ions such as copper and zinc during or after biofilm formation can render the surface of otherwise superhydrophobic B. subtilis NCIB 3610 biofilms completely wettable. As a result of this procedure, these smoother, hydrophilic biofilms are more susceptible to aqueous antibiotics solutions. Our strategy proposes a scalable and widely applicable step in a multi-faceted approach to eradicate biofilms.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNPJ biofilms and microbiomes
Volume6
Number of pages11
ISSN2055-5008
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s) 2020.

Cite this

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title = "Metal ions weaken the hydrophobicity and antibiotic resistance of Bacillus subtilis NCIB 3610 biofilms",
abstract = "Surface superhydrophobicity makes bacterial biofilms very difficult to fight, and it is a combination of their matrix composition and complex surface roughness which synergistically protects these biomaterials from wetting. Although trying to eradicate biofilms with aqueous (antibiotic) solutions is common practice, this can be a futile approach if the biofilms have superhydrophobic properties. To date, there are not many options available to reduce the liquid repellency of biofilms or to prevent this material property from developing. Here, we present a solution to this challenge. We demonstrate how the addition of metal ions such as copper and zinc during or after biofilm formation can render the surface of otherwise superhydrophobic B. subtilis NCIB 3610 biofilms completely wettable. As a result of this procedure, these smoother, hydrophilic biofilms are more susceptible to aqueous antibiotics solutions. Our strategy proposes a scalable and widely applicable step in a multi-faceted approach to eradicate biofilms.",
author = "{Falc{\'o}n Garc{\'i}a}, Carolina and Martin Kretschmer and Lozano-Andrade, {Carlos N} and Markus Sch{\"o}nleitner and Anna Dragoŝ and Kov{\'a}cs, {{\'A}kos T} and Oliver Lieleg",
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doi = "10.1038/s41522-019-0111-8",
language = "English",
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Metal ions weaken the hydrophobicity and antibiotic resistance of Bacillus subtilis NCIB 3610 biofilms. / Falcón García, Carolina; Kretschmer, Martin; Lozano-Andrade, Carlos N; Schönleitner, Markus; Dragoŝ, Anna; Kovács, Ákos T; Lieleg, Oliver.

In: NPJ biofilms and microbiomes, Vol. 6, 2020.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Metal ions weaken the hydrophobicity and antibiotic resistance of Bacillus subtilis NCIB 3610 biofilms

AU - Falcón García, Carolina

AU - Kretschmer, Martin

AU - Lozano-Andrade, Carlos N

AU - Schönleitner, Markus

AU - Dragoŝ, Anna

AU - Kovács, Ákos T

AU - Lieleg, Oliver

N1 - © The Author(s) 2020.

PY - 2020

Y1 - 2020

N2 - Surface superhydrophobicity makes bacterial biofilms very difficult to fight, and it is a combination of their matrix composition and complex surface roughness which synergistically protects these biomaterials from wetting. Although trying to eradicate biofilms with aqueous (antibiotic) solutions is common practice, this can be a futile approach if the biofilms have superhydrophobic properties. To date, there are not many options available to reduce the liquid repellency of biofilms or to prevent this material property from developing. Here, we present a solution to this challenge. We demonstrate how the addition of metal ions such as copper and zinc during or after biofilm formation can render the surface of otherwise superhydrophobic B. subtilis NCIB 3610 biofilms completely wettable. As a result of this procedure, these smoother, hydrophilic biofilms are more susceptible to aqueous antibiotics solutions. Our strategy proposes a scalable and widely applicable step in a multi-faceted approach to eradicate biofilms.

AB - Surface superhydrophobicity makes bacterial biofilms very difficult to fight, and it is a combination of their matrix composition and complex surface roughness which synergistically protects these biomaterials from wetting. Although trying to eradicate biofilms with aqueous (antibiotic) solutions is common practice, this can be a futile approach if the biofilms have superhydrophobic properties. To date, there are not many options available to reduce the liquid repellency of biofilms or to prevent this material property from developing. Here, we present a solution to this challenge. We demonstrate how the addition of metal ions such as copper and zinc during or after biofilm formation can render the surface of otherwise superhydrophobic B. subtilis NCIB 3610 biofilms completely wettable. As a result of this procedure, these smoother, hydrophilic biofilms are more susceptible to aqueous antibiotics solutions. Our strategy proposes a scalable and widely applicable step in a multi-faceted approach to eradicate biofilms.

U2 - 10.1038/s41522-019-0111-8

DO - 10.1038/s41522-019-0111-8

M3 - Journal article

C2 - 31908831

VL - 6

JO - NPJ biofilms and microbiomes

JF - NPJ biofilms and microbiomes

SN - 2055-5008

ER -