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Application note: Study of bacterial biofilms using Thermo Fisher Scientific Varioskan LUX multimode reader and EVOS FL Cell Imaging System

This note demonstrates the feasibility of combining the Thermo Fisher Scientific Varioskan LUX multimode reader with the EVOS FL imaging system for the fluorescence-based quantification and imaging of bacterial biofilms, especially for drug discovery applications…

Biofilms are an attractive target in drug discovery of antimicrobials. All available antibiotics are ineffective against biofilms, driving the need for new therapeutic approaches to counteract these infections. 

Bacterial biofilms are defined as aggregated bacteria, which differ from free-floating cells by their slow growth and tolerance to antibiotics and immune cell.1 It is estimated that over 65% of microbial infections are biofilm-mediated, conferring biofilms a high clinical relevance.2,3 Because biofilms cannot be efficiently eradicated using clinically available antibiotics, there is an urgent need for novel discovery approaches of biofilms inhibitors.

In a biofilm, living cells integrate into a structured multicellular community that is enclosed by a self-produced polymeric matrix, composed of polysaccharides, extracellular DNA and proteins. As biofilm cells multiply, they dynamically produce matrix components, which make the 3D-community more stable and tolerant to antibiotics. Thus, the study of the biofilm matrix is critical for the understanding of biofilms from a drug discovery perspective. In this note, we describe experiments conducted to evaluate the use of Varioskan LUX together with the EVOS FL imaging system for quantification and visualisation of the biofilm matrix. The high-quality output data obtained here proves the suitability of these two instruments for studies involving simultaneous quantification and imaging of fluorescent signals.

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