Quantification of biofilm accumulation by an optical approach
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionJournal of Microbiological Methods 44 (2001) No 1, 13-26 10.1016/S0167-7012(00)00236-0
Methods for non-invasive, in situ, measurements of biofilm optical density and biofilm optical thickness were evaluated based on Pseudomonas aeruginosa experiments. Biofilm optical density, measured as intensity reduction of a light beam transmitted through the biofilm, correlates with biofilm mass, measured as total carbon and as cell mass. The method is more sensitive and less labor intensive than other commonly used methods for determining extent of biofilm mass accumulation. Biofilm optical thickness, measured by light microscopy, is translated into physical thickness based on biofilm refraction measurements. Biofilm refractive index was found to be close to the refractive index of water. The P. aeruginosa biofilms studied reached a pseudo steady state in less than a week, with stable liquid phase substrate, cell and TOC concentrations and average biofilm thickness. True steady state was, however, not reached as both biofilm density and roughness were still increasing after 3 weeks.
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