Many microbes grow in surface-associated, multicellular communities known as biofilms. These biofilms are the most abundant mode of microbial life outside the ocean.
Biofilms are also associated with a range of diseases and hygiene problems, as bacteria that are bound in biofilms are intrinsically resistant to antibiotics and disinfectants. In recent years, a lot of progress has been made towards understanding the necessary genes for biofilm formation and the switch from planktonic growth to sessile growth on surfaces, which constitutes the first step in biofilm growth. Yet surprisingly little is known about what determines biofilm growth beyond the initial step of surface attachment, what governs microbial community architecture and composition, and how biofilm composition can be manipulated for particular applications in industry, agriculture, and healthcare. New omics techniques, high-resolution microscopy, next-generation sequencing, and labeling techniques for multispecies biofilm communities promise to yield breakthroughs in fundamental and applied biofilm research, which will bring improvements for human health and industry.
At the SYNMIKRO Symposium “Biofilms in Nature, Technology and Medicine”, leading scientists from academia and industry will come together to highlight and discuss recent breakthroughs and future trends in biofilm research, and how this research can lead to improvements in healthcare, waste water treatment, and industrial processes. The participation in the symposium is free of charge, but registration is required.