Novel Mechanism of Biofilm Formation
Researchers at The University of Oxford have uncovered a novel competitive mechanism for biofilm formation. Their research found that when competing strains of bacteria attempt to kill each other off, biofilms are formed as a defense mechanism and the stronger strain crowds out the other. While it has been known that antibiotic mechanisms of pyocins from Pseudomonas aeruginosa cause DNA damage and depolarize the cytoplasmic membrane, Oliveria et. al. postulated that these antibiotic mechanisms mimic the attack caused by competing bacteria strains and trigger biofilm formation. This was in contrast to previous theories that suggested antibiotics provide cooperative signals and that two strains of bacteria cooperate to form a biofilm.
The BioFlux System’s microfluidic plates have a dual-flow format that allows two separate media to run in parallel, laminar flow with minimal mixing (see figure below). This paper takes advantage of the dual-flow properties to show how the biofilm forms differently over the same seeded culture with exposure to a control medium and a treated medium.
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