|Beneficial applications of biofilms
|Philipp, L.-A.; Bühler, K.; Ulber, R.; Gescher, J.
|Nature Reviews Microbiology
|Applied microbiology; Metabolic engineering
|Many microorganisms live in the form of a biofilm. Although they are feared in the medical sector, biofilms that are composed of non-pathogenic organisms can be highly beneficial in many applications, including the production of bulk and fine chemicals. Biofilm systems are natural retentostats in which the biocatalysts can adapt and optimize their metabolism to different conditions over time. The adherent nature of biofilms allows them to be used in continuous systems in which the hydraulic retention time is much shorter than the doubling time of the biocatalysts. Moreover, the resilience of organisms growing in biofilms, together with the potential of uncoupling growth from catalytic activity, offers a wide range of opportunities. The ability to work with continuous systems using a potentially self-advancing whole-cell biocatalyst is attracting interest from a range of disciplines, from applied microbiology to materials science and from bioengineering to process engineering. The field of beneficial biofilms is rapidly evolving, with an increasing number of applications being explored, and the surge in demand for sustainable and biobased solutions and processes is accelerating advances in the field. This Review provides an overview of the research topics, challenges, applications and future directions in beneficial and applied biofilm research.
|Persistent UFZ Identifier
|Philipp, L.-A., Bühler, K., Ulber, R., Gescher, J. (2023):
Beneficial applications of biofilms
Nat. Rev. Microbiol.