Editor: Ian Head
Advanced imaging techniques for assessment of structure, composition and function in biofilm systems
Article first published online: 19 JAN 2010
© 2010 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved
FEMS Microbiology Ecology
Volume 72, Issue 1, pages 1–21, April 2010
How to Cite
Neu, T. R., Manz, B., Volke, F., Dynes, J. J., Hitchcock, A. P. and Lawrence, J. R. (2010), Advanced imaging techniques for assessment of structure, composition and function in biofilm systems. FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 72: 1–21. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6941.2010.00837.x
- Issue published online: 8 MAR 2010
- Article first published online: 19 JAN 2010
- Received 31 October 2008; revised 30 November 2009; accepted 24 December 2009.Final version published online 18 February 2010.
- laser scanning microscopy (LSM);
- magnetic resonance imaging (MRI);
- scanning transmission X-ray microscopy (STXM)
Scientific imaging represents an important and accepted research tool for the analysis and understanding of complex natural systems. Apart from traditional microscopic techniques such as light and electron microscopy, new advanced techniques have been established including laser scanning microscopy (LSM), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and scanning transmission X-ray microscopy (STXM). These new techniques allow in situ analysis of the structure, composition, processes and dynamics of microbial communities. The three techniques open up quantitative analytical imaging possibilities that were, until a few years ago, impossible. The microscopic techniques represent powerful tools for examination of mixed environmental microbial communities usually encountered in the form of aggregates and films. As a consequence, LSM, MRI and STXM are being used in order to study complex microbial biofilm systems. This mini review provides a short outline of the more recent applications with the intention to stimulate new research and imaging approaches in microbiology.