Bench Scale Flow Cell for Nondestructive Imaging of Biofilms
Microbial biofilms impact economically important processes ranging from water treatment to nosocomial infections. Understanding their ecology is a key step in learning how to manipulate them. A feature that changed scientists’ understanding of microbial biofilms was the discovery of their three-dimensional heterogeneous structure, which occurred primarily with the advent of the confocal laser scanning microscope (CLSM) (1). It was recognized that handling attached populations of cells prior to imaging would distort their structure, principally owing to shear forces at the air-liquid interface tearing the biofilm (2). Consequently, flow cells that facilitated nondestructive imaging of biofilms were developed by several groups.
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