What Is Glycocalyx?

Glycocalyx is a thick, viscous fluid secreted by all kinds of bacteria. This fluid is clear and odorless, but varies in viscosity and volume. Glycocalyx may appear in cell walls as capsules, which are tightly bound and hard deposits of the substance.

Glycocalyx can also appear on the outer shell of bacteria, in a more loosely structured and unorganized form. Glycocalyx that covers the exterior surface of bacteria is called a slime layer, and helps bacteria move. Regardless of whether Glycocalyx forms inside or outside, it protects bacterial organs from damage and is comprised of tiny viscous fibers. Glycocalyx is created primarily by glucose, and contains small amounts of water as well.