AFM Materials Journal Club

An Ordered and Fail‐Safe Electrical Network in Cable Bacteria

Raghavendran Thiruvallur Eachambadi, et al.

Advanced Biosystems 2020

Eeachambadi et al. used AFM to investigate the conductivity pathways of cable bacteria, which have challenged conventional thinking by displaying long-distance electron transport over cm-scales. AFM experiments were performed in Conductive AFM mode on the Bruker Multimode-8 AFM in a glovebox with Nitrogen atmosphere to prevent the decay of the conductance of the bacterial filaments resulting from exposure to Oxygen. The research team at Hasselt University, Belgium performed measurement on unperturbed and perturbed cells (i.e. by applying cuts within the cells). This allowed them to demonstrate that electrical currents are conveyed through a parallel network of highly conductive fibers embedded in the cell envelope and electrically interconnected between adjacent cells, providing a fail‐safe electrical network for cm-scale long‐distance electron transport in these filamentous microorganisms.


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