Biofilms: Formation, Properties, Impact on Industries, Strategies for Control

  • Kavitha Panicker Chandan S V


Microbes being one of the oldest inhabitants on the earth, have successfully survived the harsh environments by a number of survival strategies. One such strategy is the formation of a multicellular structure formed by the adherence of the microorganisms to a surface, known as biofilm. This structure is formed by first reversible and then irreversible linkages with the solid support. These are the porous structures with micro colonies, enclosed by exopolysaccharides and are connected by interstitial voids called water channels to promote the influx of nutrients, oxygen and other vital molecules and the efflux of metabolic wastes. Biofouling – formation of biofilms in an industrial setting has been a major problem in the wide range of industries with deleterious effects. The challenges brought about by biofilms in various sectors of the food industry, paper manufacturing and marine industries as well as other technological problems are discussed. Over the years several strategies are used targeting various stages and site of biofilm formation have been formulated to rid industries of biofilms once and for all. Though there exists no ‘perfect solution’ for complete biofilm eradication to date, some of the more recent and potential strategies will be discussed