Detrimental Biofilms

Figure 2 illustrates, for an arbitrary analytical measure, the typical accumulation of biofilm at a surface as a func

Figure 1. (a) Transmission electron micrograph of a sagital Section of a mixed-culture biofilm accumulating upon the surface of a rock in an alpine stream (1). (b) Transmission electron micrograph of a Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm isolated from a cystic fibrosis patient (2). (c) Hypho-microbium spp. biofilm accumulating upon surfaces of a laboratory bioreactor vessel (3). (d) Accumulation of a yeast biofilm upon the impeller of a 200-L bioreactor (4).

Figure 1. (a) Transmission electron micrograph of a sagital Section of a mixed-culture biofilm accumulating upon the surface of a rock in an alpine stream (1). (b) Transmission electron micrograph of a Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm isolated from a cystic fibrosis patient (2). (c) Hypho-microbium spp. biofilm accumulating upon surfaces of a laboratory bioreactor vessel (3). (d) Accumulation of a yeast biofilm upon the impeller of a 200-L bioreactor (4).

tion of time. Also shown are the changes in frictional and heat transfer resistances observed in engineered systems experiencing biofilm formation.

Uncontrolled biofilm formation within natural, engineered, and biomedical systems can create numerous detriments as detailed in several definitive reviews (5-7). Detriments arise by way of a biofilm's influence on the transport of mass, momentum, and energy. Detriments attributed directly to bacterial biofilms include (1) material deterioration and corrosion (8-16), (2) increases in both frictional and heat transfer resistances (14,17), (3) attach ment to and infection of biomedical implant devices (1825), and (4) operational problems that plague lab-scale and full-scale bioreactors (6,7,26).

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