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IRTG / Soft Matter Science
Freiburger Materialforschungszentrum
Stefan-Meier-Str. 21
79104 Freiburg, Germany


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You are here: Home Events J. William Costerton "Bacterial Biofilms"

J. William Costerton "Bacterial Biofilms"

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Center for Genomic Sciences, Allegheny-Singer Research Institute, Pittsburgh, USA

  • Seminar
When Oct 25, 2010
from 02:30 PM to 04:00 PM
Where «Amphithéâtre de l’Institut de Science des Matériaux de Mulhouse» 15 rue Jean Starcky, 68200 Mulhouse
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Direct observations, in natural and pathogenic ecosystems, have shown that > 99% of bacteria grow in matrix-enclosed biofilms adherent to surfaces or interfaces. These sessile bacterial communities are the basic unit of metabolic activity in ecosystems, and the basic unit of pathogenicity in the chronic bacterial infections that now predominate in modern medicine in the developed world. Within these communities cells communicate by means of diffusible signals, and by means of signals enclosed in vesicles and complex tubular systems, so that the biofilm is a single functional unit within which metabolic and ecological relationships are highly organized and well coordinated. Cells within biofilms express their genes in a pattern profoundly different from that used by single planktonic cells, so that they are highly resistant to antibacterial factors in their environments. When cells from biofilms are recovered, and spread on the surfaces of agar plates, few if any colonies develop, so culture methods are virtually useless in the detection and identification of biofilm bacteria. New methods have been developed for the study of bacterial biofilms, in situ in the ecosystems in which they live and function, and these methods have superseded culture methods for the study of these sessile communities in all ecosystems.


J. William Costerton, Ph.D.

Director, Microbial Research, Department of Orthopedics
Director, Biofilm Research, Center for Genomic Sciences
Allegheny-Singer Research Institute

Director, Center for Biofilm Engineering, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT, USA from 1993 to 2004

Current address:

Center for Genomic Sciences
Allegheny-Singer Research Institute
320 East North Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15212-4772


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