Date of Award

Summer 8-3-2013

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Eric Gilbert

Second Advisor

Phang-Cheng Tai

Third Advisor

Charles Derby


Escapin is an L-amino acid oxidase that produces antimicrobial metabolites collectively called “Escapin Intermediate Products” (EIP-K). EIP-K and H2O2 together were previously shown to be bactericidal towards diverse planktonic bacteria. The present work investigates the ability of EIP-K and H2O2 to antagonize bacterial biofilms, using Pseudomonas aeruginosa as a model. The project had three aims: 1) determine the most effective concentrations of EIP-K and H2O2 necessary to break down existing P. aeruginosa biofilms, using a crystal violet assay; 2) examine the ability of EIP-K + H2O2 to inhibit biofilm formation, using triphenyl tetrazolium chloride dye; and 3) determine the effect of EIP-K + H2O2 on the viability, biomass and structure of biofilms cultivated in flow cells using confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM). Results showed that EIP-K + H2O2 significantly reduced biofilm biomass relative to controls and that the compounds are effective at nanomolar concentrations.