Primary Cell Adhesion and Biofilm Formation on Anti-(bio)fouling Surfaces
In order to exploit the potential of biofilms or minimize the risk of their formation it is important to study and characterize them. To meet these aims the biomonitoring group of the Institute of Food Technology and Bioprocess Engineering at TU Dresden has established a modular flow cell system with a parallel plate flow chamber. It is based on GeSiM’s MicCell and offers possibilities to study biofilms on opaque surfaces in continuous flows under a fluorescence microscope.
The centrepiece of the flow chamber is a microfluidic chip, consisting of a glass slide, a fluidic layer and the substrate. The fluidic layer is made from a polymer 3D printed on the glass slide and both its thickness and shape can be modified.
Recently an innovative sample holder was designed. It is made of stainless steel with holes to ensure liquid flow across the sample surface. The advantage of this setup is that samples with various geometries can be examined with no need for drilling before analyses. Hence the flow cell can be easily and rapidly adapted to meet different requirements.
Furthermore, due to the laminar flow inside the microfluidic channel, conditions can be tightly controlled, and we can regulate variables such as oxygen and nutrient levels simply by varying the medium supply.
We use the flow chamber to study the adhesion behaviour of microorganisms and the first stages of biofilm formation on various materials. The acquired data are used to characterize the local and time-related biofilm formation and to derive parameters like growth rate, biofilm height and biomass volume.
Technische Universität Dresden
Faculty of Mechanical Science and Engineering
Institute for Food Technology and Bioprocess Engineering
Chair of Bioprocess Engineering, Prof. Th. Bley
Biomonitoring Group, Assoc. Prof. E. Boschke, Dipl.-Ing. S. Mulansky