Editorial: Advances and challenges in biofilm research

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This special edition of Water Science and Technology is dedicated to publishing selected papers presented at the IWA conference on Biofilm Structure and Activity, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, held on 24-26 October, 2004. The title of the conference departed from the conventional phrase referring to biofilm structure and function and, instead, referred to biofilm structure and activity. That departure was intentional, and motivated by the fact that it is difficult to define biofilm function; it can be almost anything we want it to be, such as remediation of toxic substances, microbially influenced corrosion or tooth decay. Biofilm activity, on the other hand, can be defined as the rate of substrate consumption per unit area of the substatum, for example, and it can be quantified. Since parameters characterizing biofilm structure can be quantified as well, biofilm structure and activity can be correlated. Much work has been done recently to quantify the relations between structure and activity of biofilms, and some results of that work are presented here. Quantifying relations between biofilm structure and the rates of various biofilm processes, such as microbial growth and detachment, has developed to a major field of exploration in biofilm engineering, and its affects many other fields of biofilm research. The conference acknowledged the importance of such studies.




Lewandowski Z, "Editorial: Advances and challenges in biofilm research," Water Sci Technol, 2005 52(7)v-xiii
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