Standardisation and comparison of methods employed for microbial cell surface hydrophobicity and charge determination

David Jones, Colin Adair, William Mawhinney, Sean Gorman

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Whilst there are a number of methods available to characterise the cell surface hydrophobicity (CSH) and cell surface charge (CSC) of microorganisms, there is still debate concerning the correlation of results between individual methods. In this study, the techniques of bacterial adherence to hydrocarbons (BATH) and hydrophobic interaction chromatography (HTC) were used to measure CSH. Electrostatic interaction chromatography (ESIC) and zeta potential (ZP) measurements were used to determine CSC. To allow meaningful comparisons between the BATH and HIC tests, between ESIC and ZP and also between CSH and CSC, the buffer systems employed in each test were standardised (phosphate buffered saline, pH 7.3, 0.01 mM). Isolates of Staphylococcus epidermidis derived from microbial biofilm were used as the test organism in this study. The isolates examined exhibited primarily medium to high CSH and a highly negative CSC. Good correlation of CSH measurement was observed between the BATH and HIC tests (r = 0.89). Good correlation was observed between ESIC (anionic exchange column) and ZP measurements. No correlations were observed between isolate CSC and either increased or decreased CSH. It is recommended that whenever comparisons of various methods to determine either CSC or CSH (by partitioning methods), the buffer systems should remain constant throughout to achieve consistency of results.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-89
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutics
Publication statusPublished - 1996

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