Biofilm thickness

Julian Wimpenny WimpennyJ at cardiff.ac.uk
Wed Feb 17 19:21:51 EST 1999


Robert,
I can't think how to do this in situ I am afraid but I can suggest a simple 
method if you *could* remove a little bit of membrane.
Now don't laugh, this method worked very well for measuring bacterial 
colony profiles around the 0 to 200 µm range. I mentioned it to Jimmy 
Walker in Porton on the phone a minute ago, he thought I should put it up!
You can get a profile of thicknesses by blowing a very fine powder over the 
surface of the film, then use the fine control of a microscope (it must 
have calibration scales on the fine control) and focus first on a place 
where there is no biofilm, record the fine control reading, then take a 
series of measurements over the biofilm region. This can give you a profile 
of depths which are really quite accurate. Do it if possible in a 
humid/water saturated environment so the sample does not dry out or else it 
shrinks.
The powder we used was "Roses, roses" talcum powder by AVON. Our sample of 
Johnsons Baby Powder was too coarse................!
Good luck. Who said old technology was dead!?
Julian



>Hello. 
>I am involved in nitrate removal from underground water by reverse 
>osmosis in Italy . 
>I will be grateful for anyone`s help on the following. 
>I'm looking for a method to mesure the tickness of the biofilm on the 
>membrane if it is possible without removing the membrane from the pilot 
>plant. 
>I am also interested in microsensor for the mesure of pH, and "organic 
>substances". 
> 
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********************************************************** 
Professor Julian Wimpenny 
Cardiff School of Biosciences, 
Main College, 
Cardiff University, 
Cathays Park, 
Cardiff CF1 3TL 
Wales, UK 
tel: +44 (0) 1222 874974 
fax +44 (0) 1222 874305 
email: WimpennyJ at cf.ac.uk 
**********************************************************

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