Biological Procedures Online

, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 194–215

The use of microscopy and three-dimensional visualization to evaluate the structure of microbial biofilms cultivated in the calgary biofilm device

  • Joe J. Harrison
  • Howard Ceri
  • Jerome Yerly
  • Carol A. Stremick
  • Yaoping Hu
  • Robert Martinuzzi
  • Raymond J. Turner
Open AccessArticle

DOI: 10.1251/bpo127

Cite this article as:
Harrison, J.J., Ceri, H., Yerly, J. et al. Biol. Proced. Online (2006) 8: 194. doi:10.1251/bpo127

Abstract

Microbes frequently live within multicellular, solid surface-attached assemblages termed biofilms. These microbial communities have architectural features that contribute to population heterogeneity and consequently to emergent cell functions. Therefore, three-dimensional (3D) features of biofilm structure are important for understanding the physiology and ecology of these microbial systems. This paper details several protocols for scanning electron microscopy and confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) of biofilms grown on polystyrene pegs in the Calgary Biofilm Device (CBD). Furthermore, a procedure is described for image processing of CLSM data stacks using amira™, a virtual reality tool, to create surface and/or volume rendered 3D visualizations of biofilm microorganisms. The combination of microscopy with microbial cultivation in the CBD — an apparatus that was designed for highthroughput susceptibility testing — allows for structure-function analysis of biofilms under multivariate growth and exposure conditions.

Indexing terms

BiofilmsImaging, Three-Dimensional
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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joe J. Harrison
    • 2
  • Howard Ceri
    • 2
  • Jerome Yerly
    • 3
  • Carol A. Stremick
    • 2
  • Yaoping Hu
    • 3
  • Robert Martinuzzi
    • 4
  • Raymond J. Turner
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of CalgaryCanada
  2. 2.Department of Biological Sciences and Biofilm Research GroupUniversity of CalgaryCanada
  3. 3.Electric and Computer Engineering, Schulich School of EngineeringUniversity of CalgaryCanada
  4. 4.Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Schulich School of EngineeringUniversity of CalgaryCanada