Alaska EPSCoR Data Portal
Biofilm Cohesive Strength as a Basis for Biofilm Recalcitrance: Are Bacterial Biofilms Overdesigned?
Bacterial biofilms are highly resistant to common antibacterial treatments, and several physiological explanations have been offered to explain the recalcitrant nature of bacterial biofilms. Herein, a biophysical aspect of biofilm recalcitrance is being reported on. While engineering structures are often overdesigned with a factor of safety (FOS) usually under 10, experimental measurements of biofilm cohesive strength suggest that the FOS is on the order of thousands. In other words, bacterial biofilms appear to be designed to withstand extreme forces rather than typical or average loads. In scenarios requiring the removal or control of unwanted biofilms, this emphasizes the importance of considering strategies for structurally weakening the biofilms in conjunction with bacterial inactivation.
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