Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Association of Quantum dot nanoparticles with Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm



Jayne B. Morrow, Catalina Arango, Richard D. Holbrook


Quantum dots (QDs) of two different surface chemistries (carboxyl (COOH) and poly ethylene glycol (PEG) modified) were utilized to determine the impact of surface functionality on QD mobility and distribution in Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 biofilms. Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy (CLSM) was utilized to evaluate QD association with biofilm components (proteins, cells and polysaccharides). QDs did not preferentially associate with cell surfaces compared to polysaccharide and protein biofilm matrix materials. Neither PEG nor COOH QDs were found to be internalized by individual bacterial cells. Neither QD functionality nor flowrate of QD application (0.3 or 3.0 ml/min) resulted in a marked difference in QD association with P. aeruginosa biofilms. However, center of density determinations indicated COOH QDs could more easily penetrate the biofilm matrix by diffusion than PEG QDs. Biofilms with PEG QDs associated had rougher polysaccharide layers and rougher cell distribution than biofilms with COOH QDs. This work suggests natural biofilms may serve as deposition locations in natural and engineered environmental systems and biofilm structural parameters may change based on exposure to nanomaterials of varied physical characteristics.
Journal of Environmental Quality


P. aeruginosa Biofilms, Nanoparticles, Environmental transport, deposition


Morrow, J. , Arango, C. and Holbrook, R. (2010), Association of Quantum dot nanoparticles with Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm, Journal of Environmental Quality, [online], (Accessed July 17, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created November 1, 2010, Updated February 19, 2017