Biofilms affect the lives of all of us, growing as they do for example on our teeth (as plaque), on catheters and medical implants in our bodies, on our boats and ships, in food processing environments, and in drinking and industrial water treatment systems. They are highly complex biological communities whose detailed structure and functioning is only gradually being unravelled, with the development of increasingly sophisticated technology for their study. Biofilms almost always have a negative impact on human affairs (flocs in sewage treatment plants are a major exception) and a lot of research is being carried out to gain a better understanding of them, so that we will be in a better position to control them.
This volume, with contributions by international experts from widely diverse areas of this field, presents a state-of-the-art picture of where we are at present in terms of our knowledge of biofilms, the techniques being used to study them, and possible strategies for controlling their growth more successfully. It should provide a valuable reference source for information on biofilms and their control for many years to come.
Table of Contents
1. Structure and Function of Biofilms 2. Physico-Chemical Properties of Biofilms 3. Structural Determinants in Biofilm Formation 4. Microscopy Methods for Studying Biofilms 5. Gene Expression of Cells Attached to Surfaces 6. Plasmid Transfer in Biofilms 7. Bacterial Interactions with Marine Fouling Organisms 8. Biofilm Infections on Implant Surfaces 9. Animal Models for the Study of Bacterial Biofilms 10. Antimicrobial Resistance of Biofilms 11. Biofilms in the Oral Cavity: Impact of Surface Characteristics 12. Algal Biofilms 13. Food Industry Biofilms 14. The Role of Biosurfactants in Affecting Initial Microbial Adhesion Mechanisms 15. Monitoring Biofilms by Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy 16. Surface Catalysed Hygiene and Biofilm Control 17. legionella Biofilms: Their Implications, Study and Control 18. Biofilms in Drinking Water Treatment and Distribution 19. Biofilm Control in Industrial Water Systems: Approaching an Old Problem in New Ways 20. Environmentally Acceptable Control of Microbial Biofilms 21. Towards Environmentally Acceptable Control of Biofilms in the Pulp and Paper Industry 22. Study of Biofouling Control with Fluorescent Probes and Image Analysis 23. Microbially Influenced Corrosion in the Context of Metal Microbe Interactions 24. Biofilms Without a Substratum: Flocs and Microbial Communities