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17 May 2010 Assessment of photodynamic damage on Escherichia coli via atomic force microscopy
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Photodynamic antimicrobial therapy (PAT) may become a useful clinical tool to treat microbial infections, overcoming microbial resistance that is a major problem nowadays. The aim of our work was to verify the damage caused by photosensitization over a Escherichia col) via atomic force microscopy (AFM), looking for structural changes that might occur in cells after PAT. Cells culture were grown until a stationary phase to reach a concentration of approximately 108 cells/mL allowing the production of extracellular slime in a biofilm-like structure. The cells including the extracellular matrix were put in a slide and its structure was observed using AFM; subsequently a water solution of methylene blue at 60μM was applied over the cells and a pre-irradiation time of 3 minutes was waited and followed by illumination with a diode laser (λ=660nm, power 40mW, 3min, fluence 180J/cm2, beam diameter 0.04cm2). The same cells were observed and the images stored. A second set of experiments was performed with a smaller number of cells/area and without extracellular slime, using the parameters abovementioned. The results showed alterations on cellular scaffold markedly dependent on the number of cells and the presence of extracellular slime. The slime is targeted by the photosensitizer, and after irradiation a destruction of the matrix was observed; when fewer cells were evaluated the destruction is much more evident. The images suggested rupture of the cellular membrane and cellular fragments were observed. Our findings indicate that AFM seems is a useful tool to investigate parameters linked with photodestruction of microorganisms.
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Silvia Cristina Núñez, Martha Simões Ribeiro, Aguinaldo Silva Garcez, and Walter Miyakawa "Assessment of photodynamic damage on Escherichia coli via atomic force microscopy", Proc. SPIE 7715, Biophotonics: Photonic Solutions for Better Health Care II, 77151L (17 May 2010);

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