Assessment of a chemostat-coupled modified robbins device to study biofilms

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The combination of a modified Robbins device (MRD) attached to the effluent line of a continuous cultivation vessel was assessed by the adhesion of planktonic bacteria maintained at a controlled growth rate. This combination of a chemostat and an MRD provides a large number of sample surfaces for monitoring both the formation and control of biofilms over extended periods of time. This apparatus was used to monitor the colonization of two soil isolates,Pseudomonas fluorescens (EX101) andPseudomonas putida (EX102) onto silastic rubber surfaces. At a similar μrel, both bacteria attached to the silastic, howeverP. fluorescens formed confluent, dense biofilms in less than 24 h, whereasP. putida adhered as single cells or microcolonies after the same period. The metabolic activity, measured by INT-formazan formation, was similar for both organisms with a peak at 6 h of colonization and a subsequent decrease after 24 h. Long term colonization studies ofP. fluorescens produced a population of greater than 9.5 log cfu cm−2 at 28 days demonstrating the advantages of the chemostat-MRD association. This technique proved to be successful for studying bacterial adhesion and biofilm formation in tubular devices by bacterial populations at controlled and low growth rates.




Jass, J., J.W. Costerton, and H.M. Lappin-Scott, “Assessment of a Chemostat-Coupled Modified Robbins Device to Study Biofilms,” Journal of Industrial Microbiology, 15:283-289 (1995).
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