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PhD thesis defense Ferdinand Xiankeng

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PhD thesis defense Ferdinand Xiankeng

"Tissue microbiology : an integrated approach for intravital studies of host-pathogen interactions"

Bacteria colonizing the host microenvironment adopt a multicellular lifestyle to resist efforts of innate immunity and early-induced innate responses. While showing all indications of being a biofilm, no method exists to verify or study this in vivo. To overcome this we developed an optical method for continuous in situ analysis of biofilms. This was based on luminescent conjugated oligothiophenes (LCOs), a non-toxic small molecular fluorophore. This chameleon like oligomers allowed specific detection of Salmonella extracellular matrix (ECM) curli fibers and cellulose via a target specific optical signature, and enabled dynamic tracking of their formation in a variety of growth models. Named Optotracing, this technology uncovered a rare glimpse of cellulose in intracellular bacteria, in eukaryotic cells and infected tissues. [Excert from the thesis abstract]

link to the thesis

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