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Initial phases of microbial biofilm formation on opaque, innovative anti-adhesive surfaces using a modular microfluidic system

: Wagner, K.; Friedrich, S.; Stang, C.; Bley, T.; Schilling, N.; Bieda, M.; Lasagni, A.; Boschke, E.


Engineering in life sciences 14 (2014), Nr.1, S.76-84
ISSN: 1618-2863
ISSN: 1618-0240
Fraunhofer IWS ()
biofilm; direct laser interference patterning; flow chamber; fluorescence microscopy; nontransparent surfaces

Biofilms can cause numerous problems, hence it is important to understand their formation on surfaces in order to develop resistant materials and avoidance strategies. Therefore, information is required regarding adhesion processes on surfaces generally and innovative anti-adhesive coatings in particular. Our flow cell system allows biofilms to be monitored in continuous flow conditions, without removing material for postflow imaging. The shown laminar flow ensures the maintenance of highly controlled conditions for biofilm growth. However, carried simulations of the oxygen demands of Escherichia coli cultivated as biofilms under the chosen regime indicate that conditions may become anaerobic, at least at the outlet of the flow cell, after a certain period of time. We report data on the bi ofouling tendencies on coatings generated with the help of direct laser interference patterning on stainless steel surfaces. Data were estimated from images acquired by fluorescence microscopy. Differences between patterned and unpatterned surfaces were not found, which is in accordance with the attachment point theory. Nevertheless, it is particularly important to elucidate in future studies the behavior of microorganisms during their attachment and the effects of variables of potentially sensitive surfaces (such as hydrophobicity, nanotopography, and charge) on their adhesion.