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Hairlike extensions responsible for movement: bacteria


Pseudomonas aeruginosa / Louisa Howar.. / LicensePD - Public Domain

Some bacteria move by attaching and then retracting pili through their outer membranes.

"Gliding motion across surfaces, usually with slime--whether or not by the same scheme--occurs in procaryotic organisms (bacteria and their kin) as well. It's based on either of two mechanisms. Bacteria are often covered with tiny hairs, pili; retraction of one type (designated IV) through their outer membranes can move them around. Alternatively, they can secrete carbohydrate slime rearward to get a push (Kaiser 2000; Merz and Forest 2002)." (Vogel 2003:450)
About the inspiring organism
Med_11_pseudo240kxamt Bacteria

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Organism/taxonomy data provided by:
Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2008 Annual Checklist

Bioinspired products and application ideas

Application Ideas: Nanoscale wires.

Industrial Sector(s) interested in this strategy: Nanotechnology

Department of Biochemistry
A. Dale Kaiser (Emeritus)
Stanford University School of Medicine
Department of Bacteriology
Katrina Forest
University of Wisconsin--Madison
Vogel S. 2003. Comparative Biomechanics: Life's Physical World. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 580 p.
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Kaiser, D. 2000. Bacterial motility: how do pili pull?. Current Biology. 10(21): R777-R780.
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Merz, AJ; Forest, KT. 2002. Bacterial surface motility: slime trails, grappling hooks, and nozzles. Current Biology. 12: R297-R303.
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