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Special Issue "Biofilm and Materials Science"

A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2016)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Hideyuki Kanematsu

Deputy President of National Institute of Technology, Suzuka College, Shiroko-cho, Suzuka, Mie, 510-0294, Japan
E-Mail
Interests: biofilm; biofouling; materials science; bacteria, microbial influenced corrosion; contamination on materials surfaces; sticky scales in the pipes, food processing; hygine problems; medicala instruments; chronic infectious diseases

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Biofilm is an inhomogeneous thin film formed on materials by bacterial activities.  It is produced by the attachment of bacteria onto materials (the phenomenon is called micro biofouling), and it leads to many kinds of industrial problems as a result. Microbial influenced corrosion (MIC), infections through medical instruments and food related materials, various aqueous pipes, heat exchanging facilities, deterioration of marine structures components, etc., are some examples.  Even though these examples illustrate the negative side of biofilm, it could be used for positive purposes, such as fish reefs, artificial weed materials, sensors, fuel cells, environmental remediation, etc. It was first studied and investigated in medical science and then spread to environmental science. Since the formation of biofilms needs materials as substrate, the interaction between microbial activities in environments and materials as substrate should be the most important key to solve industrial problems. However, the approach from materials science has been lacking so far. To solve the related industrial problems effectively, the investigation of biofilm from the viewpoint of materials science is greatly required. In this Special Issue, I aim to cast a spotlight on this interaction. I welcome any papers, from areas of fundamental science to practical technical ones, from basic evaluation methods to phenomenal technical reports in practical fields, including reviews, and scientific and technical papers. The knowledge in the interdisciplinary areas between biology, environmental science, and materials science will lead to the solution of many industrial and practical problems in the near future. Do not hesitate to submit your ideas and papers to this Special Issue.

Dr. Hideyuki Kaneamtsu
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • biofilm
  • biofouling
  • materials science
  • bacteria
  • microbial influenced corrosion
  • contamination on materials surfaces
  • sticky scales in the pipes
  • food processing
  • hygine problems
  • chronic infectious disease

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Application of a Loop-Type Laboratory Biofilm Reactor to the Evaluation of Biofilm for Some Metallic Materials and Polymers such as Urinary Stents and Catheters
Materials 2016, 9(10), 824; doi:10.3390/ma9100824
Received: 8 May 2016 / Revised: 13 September 2016 / Accepted: 1 October 2016 / Published: 11 October 2016
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Abstract
A laboratory biofilm reactor (LBR) was modified to a new loop-type closed system in order to evaluate novel stents and catheter materials using 3D optical microscopy and Raman spectroscopy. Two metallic specimens, pure nickel and cupronickel (80% Cu-20% Ni), along with two polymers,
[...] Read more.
A laboratory biofilm reactor (LBR) was modified to a new loop-type closed system in order to evaluate novel stents and catheter materials using 3D optical microscopy and Raman spectroscopy. Two metallic specimens, pure nickel and cupronickel (80% Cu-20% Ni), along with two polymers, silicone and polyurethane, were chosen as examples to ratify the system. Each set of specimens was assigned to the LBR using either tap water or an NB (Nutrient broth based on peptone from animal foods and beef extract mainly)—cultured solution with E-coli formed over 48–72 h. The specimens were then analyzed using Raman Spectroscopy. 3D optical microscopy was employed to corroborate the Raman Spectroscopy results for only the metallic specimens since the inherent roughness of the polymer specimens made such measurements difficult. The findings suggest that the closed loop-type LBR together with Raman spectroscopy analysis is a useful method for evaluating biomaterials as a potential urinary system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biofilm and Materials Science)
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Open AccessArticle Effect of Silver or Copper Nanoparticles-Dispersed Silane Coatings on Biofilm Formation in Cooling Water Systems
Materials 2016, 9(8), 632; doi:10.3390/ma9080632
Received: 14 April 2016 / Revised: 18 July 2016 / Accepted: 22 July 2016 / Published: 29 July 2016
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Abstract
Biofouling often occurs in cooling water systems, resulting in the reduction of heat exchange efficiency and corrosion of the cooling pipes, which raises the running costs. Therefore, controlling biofouling is very important. To regulate biofouling, we focus on the formation of biofilm, which
[...] Read more.
Biofouling often occurs in cooling water systems, resulting in the reduction of heat exchange efficiency and corrosion of the cooling pipes, which raises the running costs. Therefore, controlling biofouling is very important. To regulate biofouling, we focus on the formation of biofilm, which is the early step of biofouling. In this study, we investigated whether silver or copper nanoparticles-dispersed silane coatings inhibited biofilm formation in cooling systems. We developed a closed laboratory biofilm reactor as a model of a cooling pipe and used seawater as a model for cooling water. Silver or copper nanoparticles-dispersed silane coating (Ag coating and Cu coating) coupons were soaked in seawater, and the seawater was circulated in the laboratory biofilm reactor for several days to create biofilms. Three-dimensional images of the surface showed that sea-island-like structures were formed on silane coatings and low concentration Cu coating, whereas nothing was formed on high concentration Cu coatings and low concentration Ag coating. The sea-island-like structures were analyzed by Raman spectroscopy to estimate the components of the biofilm. We found that both the Cu coating and Ag coating were effective methods to inhibit biofilm formation in cooling pipes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biofilm and Materials Science)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Rotation Disk Process to Assess the Influence of Metals and Voltage on the Growth of Biofilm
Materials 2016, 9(7), 568; doi:10.3390/ma9070568
Received: 11 March 2016 / Revised: 5 July 2016 / Accepted: 7 July 2016 / Published: 12 July 2016
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Abstract
Biofilms consist of not only bacteria but also extracellular polymer substrates (EPS). They are groups of microorganisms that adhere to each other on a surface, especially as a result of exposure to water and bacteria. They can pose health risks to humans as
[...] Read more.
Biofilms consist of not only bacteria but also extracellular polymer substrates (EPS). They are groups of microorganisms that adhere to each other on a surface, especially as a result of exposure to water and bacteria. They can pose health risks to humans as they grow in hospital settings that include medical supplies and devices. In a previous study, the researchers discovered that bacteria/biofilm grew well on wetted external latex, male catheters. These results concerned the investigators and encouraged them to find ways for prohibiting the growth of bacteria/biofilm on the male catheters (which are made of natural rubber). They carried out a new study to assess the influence of metals and voltage for the growth of bacteria on these latex samples. For this purpose, a unique Rotation Disk Reactor was used to accelerate biofilm formation on external male catheter samples. This setup included a dip tank containing water and a rotating wheel with the attached latex samples (some of which had single electrodes while others had paired electrodes with applied voltage). The process allowed the samples to become wetted and also exposed them to microorganisms in the ambient air during each revolution of the wheel. The results (as viewed from SEM images) showed that when compared to the control sample, the presence of metals (brass, stainless steel, and silver) was generally effective in preventing bacterial growth. Also the use of voltage (9.5 volt battery) essentially eliminated the appearance of rod shaped bacteria in some of the samples. It can be concluded that the presence of metals significantly reduced bacterial growth on latex and the application of voltage was able to essentially eliminate bacteria, providing appropriate electrode combinations were used. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biofilm and Materials Science)
Open AccessArticle Influence of Chlorination and Choice of Materials on Fouling in Cooling Water System under Brackish Seawater Conditions
Materials 2016, 9(6), 475; doi:10.3390/ma9060475
Received: 31 March 2016 / Revised: 25 May 2016 / Accepted: 31 May 2016 / Published: 15 June 2016
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (11461 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Cooling systems remove heat from components and industrial equipment. Water cooling, employing natural waters, is typically used for cooling large industrial facilities, such as power plants, factories or refineries. Due to moderate temperatures, cooling water cycles are susceptible to biofouling, inorganic fouling and
[...] Read more.
Cooling systems remove heat from components and industrial equipment. Water cooling, employing natural waters, is typically used for cooling large industrial facilities, such as power plants, factories or refineries. Due to moderate temperatures, cooling water cycles are susceptible to biofouling, inorganic fouling and scaling, which may reduce heat transfer and enhance corrosion. Hypochlorite treatment or antifouling coatings are used to prevent biological fouling in these systems. In this research, we examine biofouling and materials’ degradation in a brackish seawater environment using a range of test materials, both uncoated and coated. The fouling and corrosion resistance of titanium alloy (Ti-6Al-4V), super austenitic stainless steel (254SMO) and epoxy-coated carbon steel (Intershield Inerta160) were studied in the absence and presence of hypochlorite. Our results demonstrate that biological fouling is intensive in cooling systems using brackish seawater in sub-arctic areas. The microfouling comprised a vast diversity of bacteria, archaea, fungi, algae and protozoa. Chlorination was effective against biological fouling: up to a 10–1000-fold decrease in bacterial and archaeal numbers was detected. Chlorination also changed the diversity of the biofilm-forming community. Nevertheless, our results also suggest that chlorination enhances cracking of the epoxy coating. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biofilm and Materials Science)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Roles of Extracellular Polysaccharides and Biofilm Formation in Heavy Metal Resistance of Rhizobia
Materials 2016, 9(6), 418; doi:10.3390/ma9060418
Received: 28 March 2016 / Revised: 9 May 2016 / Accepted: 17 May 2016 / Published: 26 May 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1254 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Bacterial surface components and extracellular compounds, particularly flagella, lipopolysaccharides (LPSs), and exopolysaccharides (EPSs), in combination with environmental signals and quorum-sensing signals, play crucial roles in bacterial autoaggregation, biofilm development, survival, and host colonization. The nitrogen-fixing species Sinorhizobium meliloti (S. meliloti) produces
[...] Read more.
Bacterial surface components and extracellular compounds, particularly flagella, lipopolysaccharides (LPSs), and exopolysaccharides (EPSs), in combination with environmental signals and quorum-sensing signals, play crucial roles in bacterial autoaggregation, biofilm development, survival, and host colonization. The nitrogen-fixing species Sinorhizobium meliloti (S. meliloti) produces two symbiosis-promoting EPSs: succinoglycan (or EPS I) and galactoglucan (or EPS II). Studies of the S. meliloti/alfalfa symbiosis model system have revealed numerous biological functions of EPSs, including host specificity, participation in early stages of host plant infection, signaling molecule during plant development, and (most importantly) protection from environmental stresses. We evaluated functions of EPSs in bacterial resistance to heavy metals and metalloids, which are known to affect various biological processes. Heavy metal resistance, biofilm production, and co-culture were tested in the context of previous studies by our group. A range of mercury (Hg II) and arsenic (As III) concentrations were applied to S. meliloti wild type strain and to mutant strains defective in EPS I and EPS II. The EPS production mutants were generally most sensitive to the metals. Our findings suggest that EPSs are necessary for the protection of bacteria from either Hg (II) or As (III) stress. Previous studies have described a pump in S. meliloti that causes efflux of arsenic from cells to surrounding culture medium, thereby protecting them from this type of chemical stress. The presence of heavy metals or metalloids in culture medium had no apparent effect on formation of biofilm, in contrast to previous reports that biofilm formation helps protect various microorganism species from adverse environmental conditions. In co-culture experiments, EPS-producing heavy metal resistant strains exerted a protective effect on AEPS-non-producing, heavy metal-sensitive strains; a phenomenon termed “rescuing” of the non-resistant strain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biofilm and Materials Science)
Open AccessArticle Inhibited Bacterial Adhesion and Biofilm Formation on Quaternized Chitosan-Loaded Titania Nanotubes with Various Diameters
Materials 2016, 9(3), 155; doi:10.3390/ma9030155
Received: 27 December 2015 / Revised: 15 February 2016 / Accepted: 25 February 2016 / Published: 3 March 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (4143 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Titania nanotube-based local drug delivery is an attractive strategy for combating implant-associated infection. In our previous study, we demonstrated that the gentamicin-loaded nanotubes could dramatically inhibit bacterial adhesion and biofilm formation on implant surfaces. Considering the overuse of antibiotics may lead to the
[...] Read more.
Titania nanotube-based local drug delivery is an attractive strategy for combating implant-associated infection. In our previous study, we demonstrated that the gentamicin-loaded nanotubes could dramatically inhibit bacterial adhesion and biofilm formation on implant surfaces. Considering the overuse of antibiotics may lead to the evolution of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, we synthesized a new quaternized chitosan derivative (hydroxypropyltrimethyl ammonium chloride chitosan, HACC) with a 27% degree of substitution (DS; referred to as 27% HACC) that had a strong antibacterial activity and simultaneously good biocompatibility with osteogenic cells. Titania nanotubes with various diameters (80, 120, 160, and 200 nm) and 200 nm length were loaded with 2 mg of HACC using a lyophilization method and vacuum drying. Two standard strain, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (American Type Culture Collection 43300) and Staphylococcus epidermidis (American Type Culture Collection 35984), and two clinical isolates, S. aureus 376 and S. epidermidis 389, were selected to investigate the bacterial adhesion at 6 h and biofilm formation at 24, 48, and 72 h on the HACC-loaded nanotubes (NT-H) using the spread plate method, confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Smooth titanium (Smooth Ti) was also investigated and compared. We found that NT-H could significantly inhibit bacterial adhesion and biofilm formation on its surface compared with Smooth Ti, and the NT-H with 160 nm and 200 nm diameters had stronger antibacterial activity because of the extended HACC release time of NT-H with larger diameters. Therefore, NT-H can significantly improve the antibacterial ability of orthopedic implants and provide a promising strategy to prevent implant-associated infections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biofilm and Materials Science)

Review

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Open AccessReview Nanoparticles for Control of Biofilms of Acinetobacter Species
Materials 2016, 9(5), 383; doi:10.3390/ma9050383
Received: 13 March 2016 / Revised: 9 May 2016 / Accepted: 10 May 2016 / Published: 18 May 2016
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Abstract
Biofilms are the cause of 80% of microbial infections. Acinetobacter species have emerged as multi- and pan-drug-resistant bacteria and pose a great threat to human health. These act as nosocomial pathogens and form excellent biofilms, both on biotic and abiotic surfaces, leading to
[...] Read more.
Biofilms are the cause of 80% of microbial infections. Acinetobacter species have emerged as multi- and pan-drug-resistant bacteria and pose a great threat to human health. These act as nosocomial pathogens and form excellent biofilms, both on biotic and abiotic surfaces, leading to severe infections and diseases. Various methods have been developed for treatment and control of Acinetobacter biofilm including photodynamic therapy, radioimmunotherapy, prophylactic vaccines and antimicrobial peptides. Nanotechnology, in the present scenario, offers a promising alternative. Nanomaterials possess unique properties, and multiple bactericidal mechanisms render them more effective than conventional drugs. This review intends to provide an overview of Acinetobacter biofilm and the significant role of various nanoparticles as anti-biofouling agents, surface-coating materials and drug-delivery vehicles for biofilm control and treatment of Acinetobacter infections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biofilm and Materials Science)
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