Biofilm Treatment with Polymers

Carl J. Pitruzzello pitruzzello at mediaone.net
Wed Jun 30 19:09:59 EST 1999


I am researching topics for my graduate project and my advisor would 
like to do some work with biofilms.
My current work involves the use of polymers as drug treatments and we 
are just getting into the anti-infective field. It would be nice if I 
could mesh the two together (or so I thought).
When I did a literature search nothing comes up with polymers and 
biofilms. However through web surfing I have found a number of 
commercial companies out there that manufacture polymers and use them 
for treatment of industrial waste water, paper mills, cooling towers 
etc. An example of this is Buckman Laboratories, who market a 
polyionene compound for biofilm eradication. Have any of these 
companies published their data? Maybe I am searching in the wrong 
place, is PubMed an unreasonable place to look for this information? My 
thought had been to look at commercially available polymers of differing 
molecular weight and different charge densities and see what effect they 
would have on established biofilms. There is no sense in my reinventing 
the wheel if the information is out there. Can any of you out there 
offer some helpful suggestions? Just to clarify, I am not talking about 
the polymers as surface components but as soluble antimicrobials.
Another question (if I may take up some more of your time) was about 
quantifying biofilms after treatment. I had come across a method that 
uses crystal violet to stain the biofilm, extracting it with DMSO, and 
measuring the absorbance in a spec. It appealed to me because of its 
simplicity and ease of use. Any objections or cautions about this 
approach?
Thank you in advance for your replies.
Mary Pitruzzello 
pitruzzello at mediaone.net



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