, Volume 25, Issue 6, pp 1687-1695
Date: 13 Mar 2013

Adhesion of Chlorella vulgaris to solid surfaces, as mediated by physicochemical interactions

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Abstract

Although adhesion of bacteria and yeast have been extensively studied by a wide range of experimental and theoretical approaches, significantly less attention has been focused on microalgae adhesion to solid materials. This work is focused on physicochemical aspects of microalgae adhesion. The results are based on experimental characterization of surface properties of both microalgae and solids by contact angle and zeta potential measurements. These data are used in modeling the surface interactions (thermodynamic and colloidal models) resulting in quantitative prediction of the interaction intensities. Finally, the model predictions are compared with experimental adhesion tests of microalgae onto model solids in order to identify the physicochemical forces governing the microalgae–solid interaction. The model solids were prepared in order to cover a wide range of properties (hydrophobicity and surface charge). The results revealed that, in low ionic strength environment, the adhesion was influenced mostly by electrostatic attraction/repulsion between surfaces, while with increasing ionic strength grew the importance of apolar (hydrophobic) interactions. The impact of solid surface properties on the degree of colonization by microlagae was statistically more significant than the influence of medium composition on cell surface of Chlorella vulgaris.