Caister Academic Press

Laser Microscopy for the Study of Biofilms: Issues and Options

Thomas R. Neu and John R. Lawrence
from: Aquatic Biofilms: Ecology, Water Quality and Wastewater Treatment (Edited by: Anna M. Romaní, Helena Guasch and M. Dolors Balaguer). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2016) Pages: 29-46.


In this review, river biofilms and the various structural aspects of environmental biofilms are discussed. These include sample type and origin, cellular and polymeric constituents as well as examination at the micro- and meso-scale. For this purpose, selected studies are considered taking advantage of the confocal imaging approach for investigation of hydrated environmental biofilm samples. Emphasis is put on extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) as a multi-functional component of microbial biofilms. The main technical focus is on laser scanning microscopy by means of 3-dimensional, multichannel imaging, specific staining techniques and digital image analysis. The advantages and limitations of the approach are critically assessed. Finally, research needs are listed in order to advance understanding of complex, environmental, real world biofilms read more ...
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