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An adhesive substance, the glycocalyx, and the bacterial community which it envelops at the interface of a liquid and a surface. When a liquid is in contact with an inert surface, any bacteria within the liquid are attracted to the surface and adhere to it. In this process the bacteria produce the glycocalyx. The bacterial inhabitants within this microenvironment benefit as the biofilm concentrates nutrients from the liquid phase. However, these activities may damage the surface, impair its efficiency, or develop within the biofilm a pathogenic community that may damage the associated environment. Microbial fouling or biofouling are the terms applied to these actual or potentially undesirable consequences.

Microbial fouling affects a large variety of surfaces under various conditions. Microbial biofilms may form wherever bacteria can survive; familiar examples are dental plaque and tooth decay. Dental plaque is an accumulation of bacteria, mainly streptococci, from saliva. The process of tooth decay begins with the bacteria colonizing fissures in and contact points between the teeth. Dietary sucrose is utilized by the bacteria to form extracellular glucans that make up the glycocalyx and assist adhesion to the tooth. Within this microbial biofilm or plaque the metabolic by-products of the bacterial inhabitants are trapped; these include acids that destroy the tooth enamel, dentin, or cementum.


A microbial (bacterial, fungal, algal) community, enveloped by the extracellular biopolymer which these microbial cells produce, that adheres to the interface of a liquid and a surface.
References in periodicals archive ?
Stephen Olmstead has been shown in the laboratory to disrupt Candida biofilms and improve sensitivities to antifungal agents.
Biofilms are a significant source of acute and chronic infection.
Enhanced understanding of biofilms and environments that support their growth will contribute to (a) improved techniques for growth and isolation of bacteria causing biofilm-associated infections in patients; (b) development of experimental designs focused on understanding biofilm behavior in the clinical and research setting; (c) elucidation of in vivo methods to identify effective treatment strategies for patients with biofilm-associated infections; (d) identification of means by which biofilm metastasis is preventable; and (e) design of mechanisms by which biofilm colonization of medical devices is preventable.
monocytogenes biofilms in the food processing environment.
In this study, the resistance of nanocrystalline diamond to growth of microbial biofilms in a continuous perfusion environment was examined.
The nine papers in this collection review studies on the transferable antibiotic resistance of oral biofilms, the performance of silane quaternary ammonium compounds applied to surfaces, methods for minimizing exposure to biofilms in hospital water distribution systems, and the need for more studies on biofilm growth in hot tubs.
Biofilms are protective layers of proteins and polysaccharides that surround bacteria and stick to equipment surfaces.
However, practitioners did see biofilms in diabetic foot wounds every day without realizing it: the so-called slough that physicians routinely remove, or not, Dr.
Bacterial biofilms are ubiquitous and are potentially found in a variety of sites within the human body.
For example, it is difficult to remove Salmonella from cantaloupe surfaces; the pathogen can attach to inaccessible sites and form a biofilm on the cantaloupe rind.
The activities of the superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) antioxidant enzymes and the total antioxidant capacity of the biofilms were measured by spectrophotometric methods.
2-4] Biofilms are formed when colonies of surface-attached bacteria secrete a slime to protect themselves.