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Evolving perspectives of biofilm structure

Stoodley, Paul, Boyle, John, DeBeer, Dirk and Lappin-Scott, Hilary (1999) Evolving perspectives of biofilm structure Biofouling, 14, (1), pp. 75-94. (doi:10.1080/08927019909378398).

Record type: Article


The application of confocal scanning laser microscopy (CSLM) to biofilm research has provided detailed new information on the structural complexity of fully hydrated living biofilms. Biofilms studied by CSLM are widely reported to be heterogeneous and consist of micro-colonies or cell clusters (aggregates of microbial cells in an extracellular polysaccharide matrix) separated by interstitial voids and channels. CSLM combined with molecular probing can identify the distribution of individual species within biofilms, while CSLM combined with microelectrodes and particle tracking has demonstrated the significance of structural heterogeneity on mass transfer in biofilms. In this review the contribution that CSLM has made towards the development of conceptual and mathematical biofilm models over the last decade is discussed. The significance of biofilm structural heterogeneity to understanding of mass transfer processes in biofilm systems and the fundamental significance of hydrodynamics in shaping biofilm structure are also discussed. Finally, some of the recent findings which suggest that biofilm structure may be controlled in part by cell signalling, quorum sensing mechanisms, are briefly discussed.

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Published date: 1999
Organisations: Engineering Mats & Surface Engineerg Gp


Local EPrints ID: 155997
ISSN: 0892-7014
PURE UUID: 26a39c00-eba6-41c0-99a9-99099b34efeb

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Date deposited: 15 Jun 2010 09:21
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 12:43

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Author: Paul Stoodley
Author: John Boyle
Author: Dirk DeBeer
Author: Hilary Lappin-Scott

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