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Molecules 2009, 14(7), 2535-2554; doi:10.3390/molecules14072535
Review

Bacterial Extracellular Polysaccharides Involved in Biofilm Formation

1,2, 2, 1 and 1,*
1 Faculty of Life and Social Sciences Swinburne University of Technology, PO Box 218, Hawthorn, Victoria 3122, Australia 2 CSIRO Minerals, Bayview Avenue, Clayton, Victoria 3168, Australia
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 May 2009 / Revised: 26 June 2009 / Accepted: 1 July 2009 / Published: 13 July 2009
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Macromolecules: Chemistry, Medicinal and Functional Materials)
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Abstract

Extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) produced by microorganisms are a complex mixture of biopolymers primarily consisting of polysaccharides, as well as proteins, nucleic acids, lipids and humic substances. EPS make up the intercellular space of microbial aggregates and form the structure and architecture of the biofilm matrix. The key functions of EPS comprise the mediation of the initial attachment of cells to different substrata and protection against environmental stress and dehydration. The aim of this review is to present a summary of the current status of the research into the role of EPS in bacterial attachment followed by biofilm formation. The latter has a profound impact on an array of biomedical, biotechnology and industrial fields including pharmaceutical and surgical applications, food engineering, bioremediation and biohydrometallurgy. The diverse structural variations of EPS produced by bacteria of different taxonomic lineages, together with examples of biotechnological applications, are discussed. Finally, a range of novel techniques that can be used in studies involving biofilm-specific polysaccharides is discussed.
Keywords: extracellular polymeric substances; biofilms; bioremediation; acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans extracellular polymeric substances; biofilms; bioremediation; acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Vu, B.; Chen, M.; Crawford, R.J.; Ivanova, E.P. Bacterial Extracellular Polysaccharides Involved in Biofilm Formation. Molecules 2009, 14, 2535-2554.

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