SUMMARY: Extracellular polysaccharide (EP) and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) were isolated from three strains of (a wild-type and two mutants) and the adsorption isotherms (relationship between amount of polymer adsorbed and bulk liquid concentration of polymer in solution) of these polymers to hydrophobic, tissue culture treated and sulphonated polystyrene surfaces were measured. The adsorption properties of the polymers were then related to the ability of the three bacterial strains to attach to the polystyrene surfaces in an attempt to elucidate the attachment mechanisms. A Langmuir adsorption isotherm equation was applied to the data, and the mathematical constants thus derived indicated if and at what concentration each surface became polymer-saturated and whether multilayer adsorption occurred. EP isolated from a crenated mutant (strain with the greatest attachment ability) adsorbed at higher concentrations than EP from wild-type and mucoid strains, and the isotherm indicated multilayer adsorption. EP from the mucoid strain (strain with little attachment ability) showed comparatively little adsorption. The isotherm of wild-type LPS was very similar to that of EP from the mucoid strain. Polymer adsorption to the three surface types was different and was generally consistent with the different degrees of bacterial attachment to the surfaces.


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