Biofilms: New Ideas for An Old Problem
Carla C.C.R. de Carvalho
Affiliation: IBB-Institute for Biotechnology and Bioengineering, Centre for Biological and Chemical Engineering, Instituto Superior Técnico, Av. Rovisco Pais, 1049-001 Lisboa, Portugal
Microbial cells, under moist conditions, are able to adhere to surfaces and to form structured communities embedded
in a matrix of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS). In industrial environments, biofilms can cause heat and
mass transfer limitations whilst in medical facilities they can be a source of contamination and proliferation of infections.
Biofilm formation is related to the pathogenicity of some bacterial strains and cells in biofilms are usually resistant to antimicrobials
agents, which increases the interest in new and sound methods for their prevention and destruction.
Keywords: Biofilm, micro-organism, exopolymeric matrix, decontamination, disinfection, deterrence, biocide, detergent, water supply, ultra-pure water, medical devices, haemodialysis, catheter, antimicrobial surface, cell adhesion.
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