Current Microbiology

, Volume 66, Issue 5, pp 456–461 | Cite as

Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Mass Transport and Structure Inside a Phototrophic Biofilm

  • Baheerathan Ramanan
  • William M. Holmes
  • William T. Sloan
  • Vernon R. Phoenix
Article

Abstract

The aim of this study was to utilize magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to image structural heterogeneity and mass transport inside a biofilm which was too thick for photon based imaging. MRI was used to map water diffusion and image the transport of the paramagnetically tagged macromolecule, Gd-DTPA, inside a 2.5 mm thick cyanobacterial biofilm. The structural heterogeneity of the biofilm was imaged at resolutions down to 22 × 22 μm, enabling the impact of biofilm architecture on the mass transport of both water and Gd-DTPA to be investigated. Higher density areas of the biofilm correlated with areas exhibiting lower relative water diffusion coefficients and slower transport of Gd-DTPA, highlighting the impact of biofilm structure on mass transport phenomena. This approach has potential for shedding light on heterogeneous mass transport of a range of molecular mass molecules in biofilms.

Notes

Acknowledgments

This work was funded by a Lord Kelvin and Adam Smith Scholarship, University of Glasgow and funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/G028443/1). We thank Jim Mullen for his assistance with RF coil building and MRI experiments.

Supplementary material

284_2012_292_MOESM1_ESM.docx (515 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 514 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Baheerathan Ramanan
    • 1
  • William M. Holmes
    • 2
  • William T. Sloan
    • 3
  • Vernon R. Phoenix
    • 1
  1. 1.Geographical and Earth SciencesUniversity of GlasgowGlasgowUnited Kingdom
  2. 2.Institute of Neuroscience and PsychologyUniversity of Glasgow, GEMRICGlasgowUnited Kingdom
  3. 3.EngineeringUniversity of GlasgowGlasgowUnited Kingdom

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