Fundamentals of Biofilm Research: 2nd Edition (Paperback) book cover

Fundamentals of Biofilm Research

2nd Edition

By Zbigniew Lewandowski, Haluk Beyenal

CRC Press

672 pages | 16 Color Illus. | 429 B/W Illus.

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The six years that have passed since the publication of the first edition have brought significant advances in both biofilm research and biofilm engineering, which have matured to the extent that biofilm-based technologies are now being designed and implemented. As a result, many chapters have been updated and expanded with the addition of sections reflecting changes in the status quo in biofilm research and engineering. Emphasizing process analysis, engineering systems, biofilm applications, and mathematical modeling, Fundamentals of Biofilm Research, Second Edition provides the tools to unify and advance biofilm research as a whole.

Retaining the goals of the first edition, this second edition serves as:

  • A compendium of knowledge about biofilms and biofilm processes
  • A set of instructions for designing and conducting biofilm experiments
  • A set of instructions for making and using various tools useful in biofilm research
  • A set of computational procedures useful in interpreting results of biofilm research
  • A set of instructions for using the model of stratified biofilms for data interpretation, analysis, and biofilm activity prediction


"One of the biggest advantages is the detailed background of experimental biofilm approaches. The view from engineering and chemistry on biofilms is a contribution to the interdisciplinary character of biofilm research."

—Hans-Curt Flemming, University of Duisburg-Essen

"This sounds like a "hands-on" manual for someone who really wants to get stuck in and set up to study biofilms. The highly detailed descriptions and protocols allude to this being a comprehensive text book as well as manual on biofilms. I was impressed by the inclusion of mathematical modeling as this can provide new hypotheses to explore and test through laboratory experimentation."

—Dr Bambos M. Charalambous, FBS, University College London

"This book provides comprehensive coverage of a variety of methods for the study of biofilms. The book includes a lot of practical "how~to" information for designing and conducting biofilm experiments, including data analysis and computer modeling. This book will be useful for novices as well as experienced biofilm researchers."

—Garth James, Center for Biofilm Engineering, Montana State University

Praise for the Previous Edition

"True to its word, this book describes the fundamentals of biofilm research from a bioengineering perspective in an easy-to-read and straightforward manner. This is an interesting, logical and well-written book . . . this is a comprehensive and well rounded book which is complementary to other literature in this area."

—Kathryn Whitehead, Manchester Metropolitan University, Microbiology Today, Nov 2008

"The authors have done an admirable job of satisfying all the criteria described in the preface. I highly recommend that microbial bioengineering students at any level obtain a copy of this book. While geared primarily towards the engineer, it is also a nice browse for biologists interested in the mathematics behind ‘the voodoo that those engineers do’. Therefore, this book is excellent for laboratories wishing to perform biofilm research from many applied perspectives (such as wastewater treatment and biomanufacturing), and it will be especially useful for the less experienced researcher in those labs. I can further recommend it as a nice addition for libraries at research universities as well as for industry resource libraries."

—Robert J. Palmer, NIDCR, NIH, Journal of Microbiological Methods, 71 (2007)

"Z. Lewandowski and H. Beyenal are uniquely qualified to write this book given their 20 years experience as biofilm researchers who have pioneered many of the techniques described in the book. However, Fundamentals of Biofilm Research is more than the collected published works of Z. Lewandowski and H. Beyenal. The book is unique in that it provides a thorough treatment of the subject with both overview and precise methodology so that the reader can appreciate the significance of clearly defined parameters. The authors also demonstrate the manner in which hypothesis driven research has advanced our understanding of biofilms. A detailed table of contents, index and crossreferences within the text make this book an easily accessible resource. In some chapters, citations within the text are listed separately and in others, the cited references are mixed with suggested readings. In all cases, the authors have supplied an extensive list of relevant literature divided by topic area. I enthusiastically recommend Fundamentals of Biofilm Research to both new and experienced biofilm researchers."

—Dr. Brenda Little, in Biofouling: The Journal of Bioadhesion and Biofilm Research

"After a very straightforward introduction, many technical aspects of biofilms such as imaging of biofilms, operation of laboratory biofilm reactors, sensors, and – as one of the big strengths – quantification of biofilm structure are presented in great and valuable detail. This is a "how-to-do" book for practical biofilm research."

––Hans-Curt Flemming, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany

Table of Contents

Introduction to biofilms and to biofilm research



Characterizing selected parts of biofilm systems

Characterizing microbial growth and biofilm formation

Biofilm-based technologies

Strategy of biofilm research

Research program

Interpreting results of biofilm studies

Imaging and characterizing biofilm components

Optical microscopy

Fluorescence microscopy

Electron microscopy

Atomic force microscopy

Microscopy for surface analysis

Nuclear magnetic resonance imaging

Laboratory biofilm reactors and their applications


Variables in biofilm reactors

LBRs as scale models

Factors affecting biofilm processes in LBRs

Operating modes of LBRs

LBRs and their typical applications

Using LBRs in conjunction with other tools to explore biofilm processes at the microscale

Functionality of LBRs

Sensors useful in biofilm research

Fundamental concepts in electrochemistry and principles of electrochemical sensors


Microsensors: Construction, instrumentation, and calibration


Constructing microelectrodes

Constructing fiber optic microsensors

Controlling microelectrode movements and data acquisition

Quantifying biofilm structure

The need to quantify biofilm structure

Types of images

Computing parameters from biofilm images

Quantifying biomass distribution in 3-D from stacks of biofilm images

Interfering effects

Testing available software packages quantifying biofilm structure

Directions of future research on quantifying biofilm structure

Biofilms on metals and other electrically conductive surfaces


Basic electrochemical concepts relevant to understanding the effects of biofilms on metals

Abiotic corrosion of active metals: Iron

Abiotic corrosion of passive metals

Quantifying electron transfer processes in electrochemically active biofilms

Electrochemical techniques for studying electrochemically active biofilms

Examples of technologically relevant electrochemically active biofilms

Interpreting results of biofilm studies using the model of stratified biofilms


Conceptual model of stratified biofilms

Interpreting results of biofilm studies using the conceptual model of stratified biofilms

Using the model of stratified biofilms to refine conceptual models of biofilm structure and activity

Computing biokinetics parameters in stratified biofilms

Mathematical modeling of biofilm processes and experimental verification of model predictions

Protocols and procedures


Preparing the experimental system

Quantifying microbial growth

Preparing and operating biofilm reactors

Common procedures


Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MEDICAL / Biotechnology
MEDICAL / Pharmacology