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Title: In situ non-destructive measurement of biofilm thickness and topology in an interferometric optical microscope

Biofilms are ubiquitous and deleteriously impact a wide range of industrial processes, medical and dental health issues, and environmental problems such as transport of invasive species and the fuel efficiency of ocean going vessels. Biofilms are difficult to characterize when fully hydrated, especially in a non-destructive manner, because of their soft structure and water-like bulk properties. Herein we describe a non-destructive high resolution method of measuring and monitoring the thickness and topology of live biofilms of using white light interferometric optical microscopy. Using this technique, surface morphology, surface roughness, and biofilm thickness can be measured non-destructively and with high resolution as a function of time without disruption of the biofilm activity and processes. The thickness and surface topology of a P. putida biofilm were monitored growing from initial colonization to a mature biofilm. Typical bacterial growth curves were observed. Increase in surface roughness was a leading indicator of biofilm growth.
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  1. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Battelle for the USDOE, PO Box 999, MSIN P7-50 Richland WA 99354 USA
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 1864-063X; 48669
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Biophotonics; Journal Volume: 9; Journal Issue: 6
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US), Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
Optical profilometry; interferometric microscopy; white light interferometry; biofilm; biofouling; non-destructive evaluation; Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory