Measuring the Metabolic Activity of Mature Mycobacterial Biofilms Using Isothermal Microcalorimetry
Measuring metabolic activity and response of biofilm to different conditions or compounds is of general interest but is also expected to help in developing new antibiofilm compounds and potentially new treatments. Current culture-based and microscopic methods although of much use have several drawbacks. Isothermal calorimetry can be useful in this context by allowing measurements of the metabolic activity of biofilm grown and maintained on solid medium. Biofilms prepared on membranes were placed in calorimetry vials containing solid medium. Sealed vials were introduced in an isothermal calorimeter, and the rate of metabolic heat production was monitored over time. We chose mycobacteria as an example for this paper as working with mycobacterial biofilms is notoriously difficult.
Key wordsBiofilms Mycobacteria Isothermal titration calorimetry
The calorimetry work at the Center of Biomechanics and Biocalorimetry in the University of Basel is possible due to the generous financial support of the Merian Iselin Stiftung and support of the colleagues from the Merian Iselin Spital.
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