Researchers in the United States and the United Kingdom have captured the bacterium Escherichia Coli at unprecedented resolution.
The resulting high-resolution images help researchers better understand the structure of bacteria, as well as create new methods to combat them.
Published photographs show E. coli bacteria. It usually does no harm to the human body, but some strains of it cause serious illness and may even be antibiotic resistant.
With a conventional microscope, you can only see the outline of the bacterium, not the structure of the body or the outer membrane that protects it from drugs.
The outer membrane of the bacteria is a barrier against antibiotics. It is she who protects them and makes them resistant to various drugs.
Bart Hugenboom, a nanotechnologist at University College London and co-author of the article
The authors used atomic force microscopy (AFM), a technique that can be used to examine objects several nanometers in length. They examined the surface of E. Coli bacteria using AFM and found out that they look like a mosaic of proteins from the outside.
Most of the areas of the outer membrane are covered with mostly immobile proteins, but there were also small areas in which there was no protein at all, instead they were filled with molecules of sugar lipids.
This suggests that the barrier cannot be equally difficult to overcome. It has stronger and weaker spots that can also be affected by antibiotics.
Bart Hugenboom, a nanotechnologist at University College London and co-author of the article.