Chemical tethering of motile bacteria to silicon surfaces

Jane P. Bearinger, Lawrence C. Dugan, Ligang Wu, Haley Hill, Allen T. Christian, Jeffrey A. Hubbell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations


We chemically immobilized live, motile Escherichia coli on micrometer-scale, photocatalytically patterned silicon surfaces via amine- and carboxylic acid-based chemistries. Immobilization facilitated (i) controlled positioning; (ii) high resolution cell wall imaging via atomic force microscopy (AFM); and (iii) chemical analysis with time-of-flight-secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS). Spinning motion of tethered bacteria, captured with fast-acquisition video, proved microbe viability. We expect our protocols to open new experimental doors for basic and applied studies of microorganisms, from host-pathogen relationships, to microbial forensics and drug discovery, to biosensors and biofuel cell optimization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-216
Number of pages8
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2009


  • Biofuel cells
  • Drug discovery
  • E. coli
  • Host-pathogen response
  • Imaging
  • Microarrays
  • Patterning
  • Tethering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Biotechnology

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  • Cite this

    Bearinger, J. P., Dugan, L. C., Wu, L., Hill, H., Christian, A. T., & Hubbell, J. A. (2009). Chemical tethering of motile bacteria to silicon surfaces. BioTechniques, 46(3), 209-216.