Application of microelectrode techniques, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Imaging, and Confocal Laser Microscopy permitted analysis of hydrodynamics, kinetics, and internal structure in biofilm systems. The commonly accepted concept of one dimensional diffusion through a three compartment model (bulk solution, biofilm, and substratum) requires revision based on recent progress in understanding the internal structures of biofilms. Biofilms seem to form three dimensional porous structures with a network of interstitial voids filled with water, forming a network of channels connected with each other and with the biofilm surface. The basic unit of this structure appears to be a bacterial cluster (sometimes called microcolony).
Hydrodynamics and kinetics in biofilm systems - recent advances and new problems
Z. Lewandowski, P. Stoodley, S. Altobelli, E. Fukushima; Hydrodynamics and kinetics in biofilm systems - recent advances and new problems. Water Sci Technol 1 October 1994; 29 (10-11): 223–229. doi: https://doi.org/10.2166/wst.1994.0765
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