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Surface-catalysed disinfection of thick Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms

Wood, P; Caldwell, DE; Evans, E; Jones, M; Korber, DR; Wolfhaardt, GM; Wilson, M; (1998) Surface-catalysed disinfection of thick Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms. J APPL MICROBIOL , 84 (6) 1092 - 1098.

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Transition metal catalysts were incorporated into polymers which formed the surface for bacterial attachment and biofilm formation in a constant depth film fermenter (100 mu m thickness), flow chamber (about 30 mu m thickness) and in batch culture (< 30 mu m thickness). The catalysts drive the breakdown of persulphates to reactive oxygen species. When Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms were exposed to dilute solutions of potassium monopersulphate (20 mu g ml(-1)-1 mg ml(-1)), significant enhancement of killing was notable for catalyst-containing surfaces over that of controls. The degree of enhancement was greatest for thin films, but was nevertheless significant for the 100 mu m thick biofilms. Fluorescence probes and viability staining, in conjunction with laser confocal microscopy, showed that reactive species were generated at the biofilm-substratum interface and killed the biofilm from the inside. Reaction-diffusion limitation now concentrates the active species within the biofilm rather than protecting it, and a diffusion pump is established whereby further treatment agent is drawn to the substratum enabling relatively thick biofilms to be disinfected.

Type: Article
Title: Surface-catalysed disinfection of thick Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/62856
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