Wetting/Spreading on Porous Media and on Deformable, Soluble Structured Substrates as a Model System for Studying the Effect of Morphology on Biofilms Wetting and for Assessing Anti-Biofilm Methods

Dominika Zabiegaj*, Farzaneh Hajirasouliha, Angela Duilio, Stefano Guido, Sergio Caserta, Margaritis Kostoglou, Maria Petala, Thodoris Karapantsios, Anna Trybala*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Biofilm is a layer of syntrophic microorganisms stick to each other and to the surface. The importance of biofilms is enormous in various industrial applications and human everyday life. The effects of biofilm could be either positive or negative. Positive effects are encountered in industrial processes, bioremediation, and wastewater treatment. Negative effects are more common with the marine industry being one of the sectors, which confronts severe corrosion problems caused by biofouling on the surfaces of equipment and infrastructures. In space industry, microbial contamination and biofouling adversely affect both crew health and mission-related equipment, the latter including hardware, water systems, piping, and electrical tools. The capacity of biofilms to grow in space environment was confirmed already in 1991. One of the most important surface properties of biofilms is wettability, which dictates not only how a liquid spreads over the uneven external surface of biofilms but also how it penetrates into their porous and morphologically complex structure. To investigate wetting and spreading onto biofilms, model materials are often used to simulate different morphological and functional features of biofilms in a controlled way, for example, soft, deformable, soluble, structured, porous materials. Here, we review recent advances in wetting and spreading on porous and soft deformable surface together with biofilms wetting properties and its importance in space industry. We conclude with a discussion of the main directions for future research efforts regarding biofilm wetting.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101426
Number of pages17
JournalCurrent Opinion in Colloid & Interface Science
Volume53
Early online date8 Feb 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2021

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