Critical parameters in cultivation of experimental biofilms using the example of Pseudomonas fluorescens.
Formation and treatment of biofilms present a great challenge for health care and industry. About 80% of human infections are associated with biofilms including biomaterial centered infections, like infections of prosthetic heart valves, central venous catheters, or urinary catheters. Additionally, biofilms can cause food and drinking water contamination. Biofilm research focusses on application of experimental biofilm models to study initial adherence processes, to optimize physico-chemical properties of medical materials for reducing interactions between materials and bacteria, and to investigate biofilm treatment under controlled conditions. Exploring new antimicrobial strategies plays a key role in a variety of scientific disciplines, like medical material research, anti-infectious research, plant engineering, or wastewater treatment. Although a variety of biofilm models exist, there is a lack of standardization for experimental protocols, and designing experimental setups remains a challenge. In this study, a number of experimental parameters critical for material research have been tested that influence formation and stability of an experimental biofilm using the non-pathogenic model strain of Pseudomonas fluorescens. These parameters include experimental time frame, nutrient supply, inoculum concentration, static and dynamic cultivation conditions, material properties, and sample treatment during staining for visualization of the biofilm. It was shown, that all tested parameters critically influence the experimental biofilm formation process. The results obtained in this study shall support material researchers in designing experimental biofilm setups.