Quantifying biofilm structure using image analysis

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We have developed and implemented methods of extracting morphological features from images of biofilms in order to quantify the characteristics of the inherent heterogeneity. This is a first step towards quantifying the relationship between biofilm heterogeneity and the underlying processes, such as mass-transport dynamics, substrate concentrations, and species variations. We have examined two categories of features, areal, which quantify the relative magnitude of the heterogeneity and textural, which quantify the microscale structure of the heterogeneous elements. The feature set is not exhaustive and has been restricted to two-dimensional images to this point. Included in this paper are the methods used to extract the structural information and the algorithms used to quantify the data. The features discussed are porosity, fractal dimension, diffusional length, angular second moment, inverse difference moment and textural entropy. We have found that some features are better predictors of biofilm behavior than others and we discuss possible future directions for research in this area.




Yang, X., H. Beyenal, G. Harkin, Z. Lewandowski, “Quantifying Biofilm Structure Using Image Analysis,” Journal of Microbiological Methods 39, no. 2 (January 2000): 109–119. doi:10.1016/s0167-7012(99)00097-4.
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