Extracellular polymeric substance
||It has been suggested that this article be merged with Exopolysaccharide. (Discuss) Proposed since November 2012.|
Extracellular polymeric substances, also known as exopolysaccharide, or EPS, are high-molecular weight compounds secreted by microorganisms into their environment. EPS establish the functional and structural integrity of biofilms, and are considered the fundamental component that determines the physiochemical properties of a biofilm.
EPS are mostly composed of polysaccharides and proteins, but include other macro-molecules such as DNA, lipids and humic substances. EPS are the construction material of bacterial settlements and either remain attached to the cell's outer surface, or are secreted into its growth medium. These compounds are important in biofilm formation and cells attachment to surfaces. EPS constitutes 50% to 90% of a biofilm's total organic matter.
See also 
- Staudt C, Horn H, Hempel DC, Neu TR (2004). "Volumetric measurements of bacterial cells and extracellular polymeric substance glycoconjugates in biofilms". Biotechnol. Bioeng. 88 (5): 585–92. doi:10.1002/bit.20241. PMID 15470707.
- Flemming, Hans-Curt; Wingender, Jost; Griebe, Thomas; Mayer, Christian (December 21, 2000), "Physico-Chemical Properties of Biofilms", in L. V. Evans, Biofilms: Recent Advances in their Study and Control, CRC Press, p. 20, ISBN 978-9058230935
- Donlan RM (2002). "Biofilms: microbial life on surfaces". Emerging Infect. Dis. 8 (9): 881–90. PMC 2732559. PMID 12194761.
- Donlan RM, Costerton JW (2002). "Biofilms: survival mechanisms of clinically relevant microorganisms". Clin. Microbiol. Rev. 15 (2): 167–93. doi:10.1128/CMR.15.2.167-193.2002. PMC 118068. PMID 11932229.
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