Bio Film

All About BioFilm



Facts about Biofilms

Emily : July 25, 2012 8:26 am : Recent

Biofilms and your health…

Biofilms are responsible for diseases such as otitis media, the most common acute ear infection in children in the U.S. Other diseases in which biofilms play a role include bacterial endocarditis (infection of the inner surface of the heart and its valves), cystic fibrosis (a chronic disorder resulting in increased susceptibility to serious lung infections), and Legionnaire’s disease (an acute respiratory infection resulting from the aspiration of clumps of Legionnella biofilms detached from air and water heating/cooling and distribution systems).

Biofilms may be responsible for a wide variety of “nosocomial” (hospital-acquired) infections. Sources of biofilm-related infections can include the surfaces of catheters, medical implants, wound dressings, or other types of medical devices.

Biofilms are highly resistant to antibiotics. Consequently, very high and/or long-term doses are often required to eradicate biofilm-related infections.

Biofilms happily colonize many household surfaces, including toilets, sinks, countertops, and cutting boards in the kitchen and bath. Poor disinfection practices and ineffective cleaning products may increase the incidence of illnesses associated with pathogenic organisms associated with normal household activity.

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Biofilm Applications

Emily : March 15, 2012 4:21 pm : Recent

Biofilms and industry

Biofilms are responsible for billions of dollars in lost industrial productivity and both product and capital equipment damage each year. For example, biofilms are notorious for causing pipe plugging, corrosion and water contamination.

Biofilm contamination and fouling occurs in nearly every industrial water-based process, including water treatment and distribution, pulp & paper manufacturing, and the operation of cooling towers.

Biofilms and biotechnology
Some reactors designed to promote biofilm growth are very effective for treating environmental wastes such as sewage, industrial waste streams, or contaminated groundwater.

Biofilms can be used to produce a wide variety of biochemicals that are then purified and utilized for public good, including medicines, food additives, or chemical additives for cleaning products.

Biofilms and the environment
Biofilms attached to particles of contaminated soils and aquatic sediments help degrade soil-bound contaminants occuring from accidental chemical releases into the environment. Biofilms attached to the plant roots of some crops help cycle nutrients to and from the plant, resulting in increased agricultural productivity.

Biofilms Research

International research is currently being undertaken to combat the effects of biofilms. Researchers and scientists keep themselves current by attending conferences and taking up research placements all over the world. It is recommended that all scientists traveling overseas for research purposes have adequate medical insurance. Take a look at this link to find out more about current research into biofilms and also visit The Centre for Biofilm Engineering for extra information.

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Emily : March 15, 2012 4:02 am : Recent

A biofilm is an aggregate of microorganisms in which cells adhere to each other on a surface. These adherent cells are frequently embedded within a self-produced matrix of extracellular polymeric substance (EPS). Biofilm EPS, which is also referred to as slime (although not everything described as slime is a biofilm), is a polymeric conglomeration generally composed of extracellular DNA, proteins, and polysaccharides. Biofilms may form on living or non-living surfaces and can be prevalent in natural, industrial and hospital settings. The microbial cells growing in a biofilm are physiologically distinct from planktonic cells of the same organism, which, by contrast, are single-cells that may float or swim in a liquid medium.

Microbes form a biofilm in response to many factors, which may include cellular recognition of specific or non-specific attachment sites on a surface, nutritional cues, or in some cases, by exposure of planktonic cells to sub-inhibitory concentrations of antibiotics. When a cell switches to the biofilm mode of growth, it undergoes a phenotypic shift in behavior in which large suites of genes are differentially regulated.

Formation of a biofilm begins with the attachment of free-floating microorganisms to a surface. These first colonists adhere to the surface initially through weak, reversible adhesion via van der Waals forces. If the colonists are not immediately separated from the surface, they can anchor themselves more permanently using cell adhesion structures such as pili.

The first colonists facilitate the arrival of other cells by providing more diverse adhesion sites and beginning to build the matrix that holds the biofilm together. Some species are not able to attach to a surface on their own but are often able to anchor themselves to the matrix or directly to earlier colonists. It is during this colonization that the cells are able to communicate via quorum sensing using such products as AHL. Once colonization has begun, the biofilm grows through a combination of cell division and recruitment. The final stage of biofilm formation is known as development, and is the stage in which the biofilm is established and may only change in shape and size. The development of a biofilm may allow for an aggregate cell colony (or colonies) to be increasingly antibiotic resistant.

Courtesy: Wikipedia

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