A biofilm is a collective of one or more types of microorganisms attached to solid surfaces submerged in or exposed to an aqueous solution, which may vary from food, industrial equipment, inside walls of pipes to the surfaces of human tissues and organs and implant medical devices, can grow and develop into a biofilm. Microorganisms that form biofilms generally include bacteria, fungi and protists. As a structural microbial community that consists of microbes and hydrated matrix (extracellular polymeric substance matrix) enclosing the microbes, from which biofilm-associated cells can be differentiated whereby mechanisms including reduced growth rates and regulations of specific genes.
Figure 1. Biofilm formation process
The formation of a microbial biofilm to surfaces can be distinguished into several phases, including primary and reversible attachment, secondary and irreversible adhesion, proliferation, and biofilm formation. The mature bacterial biofilm is an ultrastructure which kind of resembles a coral reef or a mushroom, though the microbes embedded within an extracellular glycocalyx, with channels and cavities to allow the exchange of nutrients, waste, and release of inside organisms. The population growth and diversity can as well be regulated through primitive cell signals. Such structures possess features that their planktonic counterparts would not have - the biofilm protects its inhabitants from outside environments with much higher resistance to dehydration, biocides, and other environmental extremes.
It is vitally important that we get a comprehensive understanding of the biofilms. The formation of biofilm can be quite harmful in some cases, for instance, biofilms have great influence on public health - it has been found that an estimated 80% of infections (including device-related infections) in the body are involved with a wide variety of biofilms; biofilms may also be problematic in industries due to the ability to form on equipment and inside pipelines during industrial processes. On the other hand, biofilms can be utilized for our purposes. Take sewage treatment as an example, many plants include a secondary treatment stage in which wastewater passes over biofilms grown on filters, which extract and digest organic compounds. In such biofilms, bacteria are mainly responsible for the removal of organic matter (BOD), while protozoa and rotifers are mainly responsible for the removal of suspended solids (SS), including pathogens and other microorganisms.
Microbiosci, as a premier institution that has many years of experience in microbiology, presents the most state-of-the-art techniques to test, control and utilize biofilms for your utmost benefits. The services that we provide cover the following areas:
◆ Biofilm testing services: By using analysis techniques from standardized biofilm methods such as biofilm reactor (rotating disk reactor, drip flow reactor, CDC reactor) method, MBEC assay (multiple equivalent biofilms for antibiotic and biocide susceptibility testing) method, and single tube disinfection method to other advanced methods such as high-quality imaging of biofilms using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM). Our biofilm testing services cover a wide range from industrial to clinical isolates with an extensive library of biofilm-forming species.
◆ Biofilm control and removal services: Combined a great knowledge of physical, biological and chemical approaches and years of experiences of removing both biofilm accumulations and bioburden that are migrating within the systems and equipment, Microbiosci can really assist you in solving the problems in the projects.
◆ Biofilm application services: Biofilms play significant roles in certain fields such as interaction with plants (rhizosphere biofilm would be an eminent example), soil composition, bioremediation and wastewater treatment. We provide schemes, by all means, to utilize biofilms for your utmost benefits.