Extracellular Matrix


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Extracellular Matrix

Extracellular Matrix

This is an SEM micrograph of an extracellular matrix forming around a cocci type bacterial infection. The bacteria in the left portion of the micrograph are almost completely encapsulated with the matrix. In other regions, the matrix is holding the bacteria together, but has not yet completely encapsulated them. The matrix is made of an excretion from the bacteria. The matrix is composed of a polymeric compound called extracellular polymeric substance (EPS). Bacteria in such a matrix behave very differently from free floating bacteria. It is believed that the matrix allows communication between the individual bacterium. The protective matrix can make the colony more resistant to antibacterial agents and antibiotics. The bacteria are about 1 micron in size.

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