Quantification of bacteria adhered on porous, multi-layered fibers is a challenging task. The goal of this study is to compare different assessment procedures on counting textile-adhered bacteria, and to guide relevant analytical techniques. Three different methods were compared in measuring the amount of Escherichia coli (E. coli) adhered to polymeric film and fibrous nonwovens. In the extraction method, the adhered bacteria were released with the assistance of surfactant/enzyme, where the measurement was rather reproducible. For colorimetric method, stained bacteria enabled direct visualization without needing to detach cells from the surface, yet the linearity of color absorbency to cell counts was limited. The microscopic analysis provided direct observation of bacterial distribution over the surface, but accurate quantification was not possible for porous, fibrous surfaces. This study intends to help choosing a suitable test method to accurately quantify the textile-adhered bacteria, as well as broadly impact the research on anti-bioadhesive surfaces.
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