Past Research Projects

Microbial Fuel Cells 




Measurement and Analysis of Microbial Sticking Coefficients for Water Treatment Materials

PIBruce Logan , Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering; 
Funding period: June 1, 2003 – May 31, 2004.

Project Summary

Bacterial adhesion is important in a variety of industrial and natural environments.  In order to increase or control adhesion, we must experimentally measure sticking coefficients rapidly and reproducibly.  We have developed a rapid mini-column technique (the MARK method) to measure sticking coefficients of bacteria to glass beads and other porous media. The technique is based on vacuum filtration of a bacterial suspension through a small-diameter column (plastic syringe).  The bacteria are radiolabeled using 3H-leucine so that we can extrude the column and determine the concentration of bacteria within the packing as a function of distance using scintillation counting.  For more information, see: Gross et al. (1995) and Gross and Logan (1995).

In this project, we are examining bacterial adhesion to activated carbon in order to understand the factors that increase bacterial adhesion.  To do this we have developed a new mini-column method called the two-layer MARK technique.  With this method, we are able to measure bacterial adhesion to extremely sorptive materials such as activated carbon.

This research is aligned with other projects on Bioadhesion at Penn State, particularly the CRAEMS project which is focused on understanding bioadhesion using different molecular level analyses and techniques. 

The student working on this project is: Ekatarina Watson

Bruce E. Logan |  Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering | 231Q Sackett Building
Phone: 814-863-7908 | Fax: 814-863-7304 
The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802