Interactive forces between co-aggregating and non-co-aggregating oral bacterial pairs

F. Postollec, W. Norde, J. de Vries, H.J. Busscher, H.C. van der Mei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


The temporo-spatial development of plaque is governed by adhesive interactions between different co-aggregating bacterial strains and species. Physico-chemically, these interactions are due to attractive Lifshitz-Van der Waals and acid-base forces, and occur despite electrostatic repulsion and with a critical influence of temperature. The forces between co-aggregating and non-co-aggregating pairs have never been measured, however. The aim here, thus, is to investigate, by atomic force microscopy, whether there is a difference in interactive forces between co-aggregating and non-co-aggregating bacterial pairs at 10 degrees C, 22 degrees C, and 40 degrees C. Actinomyces naeslundii 147 was immobilized on poly-L-lysine-coated tipless AFM cantilevers, while streptococci were immobilized on poly-L-lysine-coated glass surfaces. Upon approach, a repulsive force was measured, regardless of whether a co-aggregating or non-co-aggregating pair was involved. However, upon retraction, the co-aggregating pair exhibited larger adhesive forces and energies than did the non-co-aggregating pair. Adhesive interactions between the co-aggregating pair were smallest at 40 degrees C.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-234
JournalJournal of Dental Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • microbial pairs
  • microscopy
  • adhesion
  • coaggregation
  • surfaces
  • cells
  • polysaccharides
  • spectroscopy
  • recognition
  • temperature

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