Biofilm - UNIVERSITY OF IOWA An Intricate Society: Biofilms...

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UNIVERSITY OF IOWA An Intricate Society: Biofilms Mohammed A. Said 00616954 04/16/2008 Sec: 002:010:A10
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A) Describe the technological advances and conceptual changes that had to occur before the significance of the biofilms could be appreciated? It has only been since recent years that we have been able to appreciate these fascinating microbial communities. Due to limited understanding of bacteria the average person, would most likely imagine bacteria to live in a planktonic state, in isolation. This is from the truth and thanks to the many technological developments we can now understand that most bacteria live communities called biofilms, and we can gain greated insight on the mechanisms they employ. It has only been within the last 15 to 20 years that biologist have even started the physiological characteristics of biofilms, and even then most bacterial research concentrated on their isolated form. However, now with a shift to studying bacteria in its communal we are reconceptualizing our perspective on bacteria, and finding a niches for biofilm formation. Advancing many fields such as: medical devices, such as catheters and artificial heart valves, ecology, and agriculture among others.
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As stated previously the major change that had to made was to stop studying bacteria simply from their isolated form, but as a microbial community. A fundamental step in doing this was the ability to develop mature biofilms in the laboratory. A common technique is to place a spinning disk into an inoculated nutrient broth, and to then utilize the strength if the disk spinning which promoted biofilm growth onto the film itself. A more recent method allows the creation of 96 uniform biolfilms into a standard microtiter plate. A newly developed MBEC biofilm assay is reacted within the plate to promote the growth. The most advanced technology implements a confocal laser scanning microscope that allows the allows researchers to study a three-dimensional view of the biofilm. This technology is called device, called a flow cell, and it is essentially made up of a of a chamber and a transparent material. Nutrient laden medium is sent into the medium and allows the growth of the biofilm on the transparent material. The advantage of using a confocal laser scanning miscroscope opposed to the superior scanning electron microscope in this process is that it doesn’t kill the cells. In order to fully appreciate these advances, adaptations to evaluate gene expression have been made through genomic and mass spectrometry proteomic methods. This advances have allowed the study of many key activities within the biofilms such as metabolic functions, and many other important aspects, thus allowing us to discover new ways of combating biofilms. Also better methods in protein transcriptomics has allowed us to see how biofilms distribute connects the puzzle on how patterns of proteins and gene expression are formed in biofilms. Also, the research of proteins has taught scientists biofilm proteins refold and respond to environmental stress.
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This note was uploaded on 04/28/2008 for the course OTHER 11 taught by Professor Denburg during the Spring '08 term at University of Iowa.

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Biofilm - UNIVERSITY OF IOWA An Intricate Society: Biofilms...

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