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Definition of a biofilm

K.E.Cooksey umbkc at gemini.oscs.montana.edu
Tue Jul 20 14:33:16 EST 1999


I don't want to sound as though I am older than I am, but why do we need 
another definition of a biofilm? Perhaps the first review of biofilm 
engineering and biology was published 16 years ago by the late Bill 
Characklis and I. In it we defined a biofilm in the following way : 
....immobilized cells grow, reproduce, and produce extracellular polmer 
substances that frequently extend from the cell, forming a tangled mass of 
fibers lending structure to the entire assemblage which shall be termed a 
biofilm. The term biofilm does not necessarily imply a surface accumulation 
that is uniform in time and/or space. 
We dveloped this into a shorter version that defines a biofilm as "the 
accumulation of microbial cells , their products and inorganic particles at 
a wetted surface ".[ to take into the account that natural biofilms 
accumulate lots of silt].
Let's not re-invent the wheel!
Keith Cooksey, Research Professor 
As part of the final part of the review we mentioned 13 areas that we felt 
were in need of further work. It is interesting to see how many of these 
STILL need further work!
The reference is Adv in Appl. Microbiol. 29 93-137 [1983]

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