Title: Material properties of biofilms-a review of methods for understanding permeability and mechanics.
Authors: Billings, Nicole; Birjiniuk, Alona; Samad, Tahoura S; Doyle, Patrick S; Ribbeck, Katharina
Published In Rep Prog Phys, (2015 Feb)
Abstract: Microorganisms can form biofilms, which are multicellular communities surrounded by a hydrated extracellular matrix of polymers. Central properties of the biofilm are governed by this extracellular matrix, which provides mechanical stability to the 3D biofilm structure, regulates the ability of the biofilm to adhere to surfaces, and determines the ability of the biofilm to adsorb gases, solutes, and foreign cells. Despite their critical relevance for understanding and eliminating of biofilms, the materials properties of the extracellular matrix are understudied. Here, we offer the reader a guide to current technologies that can be utilized to specifically assess the permeability and mechanical properties of the biofilm matrix and its interacting components. In particular, we highlight technological advances in instrumentation and interactions between multiple disciplines that have broadened the spectrum of methods available to conduct these studies. We review pioneering work that furthers our understanding of the material properties of biofilms.
PubMed ID: 25719969
MeSH Terms: Biofilms*; Mechanical Phenomena; Permeability