Electrical double layer interactions in bacterial adhesion to surfaces

A.T. Poortinga, R. van den Bos, W. Norde, H.J. Busscher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

364 Citations (Scopus)


The DLVO (Derjaguin, Landau, Verwey, Overbeek) theory was originally developed to describe interactions between non-biological lyophobic colloids such as polystyrene particles, but is also used to describe bacterial adhesion to surfaces. Despite the differences between the surface of bacteria and that of non-biological particles, DLVO-descriptions of bacterial adhesion have nearly always treated bacteria as if they were non-biological particles and consequently in many cases these descriptions have failed to describe bacterial adhesion adequately. This review summarizes recent advances in colloid and surface science regarding the electrokinetic characterization of biological colloids, most notably bacteria, and their electric double layer interactions with surfaces. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-32
JournalSurface Science Reports
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • atomic-force microscopy
  • plate flow chamber
  • oral streptococcal strain
  • ion-penetrable spheres
  • parallel-plate
  • electrostatic interactions
  • electrophoretic mobility
  • escherichia-coli
  • physicochemical properties
  • electrokinetic properties


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