The bacterial planktonic growth and the removal of bacterial cells grown on polypropylene surface coated with covalently immobilized proteases (subtilisin Carlsberg or α-chymotrypsin) was investigated for Enterococcus hirae, Staphyloccocus epidermidis and Eschericha coli. Immobilization of both proteases on plasma-treated polypropylene was carried out using as cross-linking agent i) glutaraldehyde or ii) N’-diisopropylcarbodiimide and N-hydroxysuccinimide. In the presence of immobilized proteases a higher bacterial planktonic growth (up to 40 %) was observed. Instead, a different effect was observed on cell removal, and it varied according to the bacteria strain, the immobilized protease and the immobilization procedure. In particular, the presence of subtilisin in the polypropylene coating increased the cell removal of E. hirae by simple washing of the polypropylene surface and both subtilisin and α-chymotrypsin immobilized by N’-diisopropylcarbodiimide and N-hydroxysuccinimide favored the removal of S. epidermidis after sonication. No significant differences compared to the control where observed in all the other cases. In conclusion this study indicates that proteases can be an enhancer of microbial biomass (a phenomena that could be exploited for industrial fermentation) and can affect the strength of cell adhesion for some bacteria.
Published on: Sep 28, 2015 Pages: 7-9