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Direct Measurement of Cell Wall Stress-Stiffening and Turgor Pressure in Live Bacterial Cells

Author(s): Deng, Yi; Sun, Mingzhai; Shaevitz, Joshua W

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Abstract: We study intact and bulging Escherichia coli cells using atomic force microscopy to separate the contributions of the cell wall and turgor pressure to the ove rall cell stiffness. We find strong evidence of power–law stress–stiffening in the E. coli cell wall, with an exponent of 1 . 22 ± 0 . 12, such that the wall is significantly stiffer in intact cells ( E = 23 ± 8 MPa and 49 ± 20 MPa in the axial and circumferential directions) than in unpressurized saccul i. These measurements also indicate that the turgor pressure in living cells E. coli is 29 ± 3 kPa.
Publication Date: Oct-2011
Electronic Publication Date: 6-Oct-2011
Citation: Deng, Yi, Sun, Mingzhai, Shaevitz, Joshua W. (2011). Direct Measurement of Cell Wall Stress Stiffening and Turgor Pressure in Live Bacterial Cells. Physical Review Letters, 107 (15), 10.1103/PhysRevLett.107.158101
DOI: doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.107.158101
ISSN: 0031-9007
EISSN: 1079-7114
Type of Material: Journal Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: Physical Review Letters
Version: Author's manuscript

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