Effects of substrates on biofilm formation observed by atomic force microscopy

Y. J. Oh, N. R. Lee, W. Jo, W. K. Jung, J. S. Lim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


Formation of biofilm is known to be strongly dependent on substrates including topography, materials, and chemical treatment. In this study, a variety of substrates are tested for understanding biofilm formation. Sheets of aluminum, steel, rubber, and polypropylene have been used to examine their effects on formation of Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm. In particular, the morphological variation, transition, and adhesiveness of biofilm were investigated through local measurement by atomic force microscopy (AFM). Mechanism of removing biofilm from adhering to substrate is also analyzed, thus the understanding of the mechanism can be potentially useful to prevent the biofilm formation. The results reveal that formation of biofilm can remain on rough surface regardless of substrates in hot water, which may easily induce extra-polymeric substances detachment from bacterial surface. By probing using AFM, local force-distance characterization of extra-cellular materials extracted from the bacteria can exhibit the progress of the biofilm formation and functional complexities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)874-880
Number of pages7
Issue number8
StatePublished - Jul 2009


  • Atomic force microscopy
  • Biofilm
  • Cell adhesion
  • Force-distance measurement


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