Department of Fundamental & Medical Microbiology:


Tel + (33) 1 40 61 34 18
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Experimental approach of biofilm formation: continuous-flow microfermentors (MF)

We designed a continuous-flow culture system where biofilm formation can be reproducibly monitored and controlled in micro-fermentors developed at the Pasteur Institute (see Figure).

This model is the main experimental biofilm model used in the laboratory and proved to be particularly adapted to the study of biofilm formation in all microorganisms tested so far. The current set up is well adapted to genetic investigations through parallel analysis of multiple strains. The media conditions are controlled and the rapid imposed debit rate is incompatible with planktonic growth. Hence, most of the observed growth occurs on the available surfaces inside the micro-fermentors and biofilm formation (1 to 2 mm form in 24/72 H) can be monitored on removable slides (see Fig). The biomass recovered from the surface allows further microscopy genetic or biochemistry analysis (i.e. Protein profiling, RNA extraction etc…).


J. M. Ghigo. (2001) Natural conjugative plasmids induce bacterial biofilm development Nature.412:442-5.

 J. Valle et al. (2003) SarA and not sigmaB is essential for biofilm development by Staphylococcus aureus Mol Microbiol.48:1075-87..

C. Beloin et al. (2004) Global impact of mature biofilm lifestyle on Escherichia coli K-12 gene expression Mol Microbiol.51:659-74..

S. Garcia-Sanchez, S. et al.. (2004) Candida albicans biofilms: a developmental state associated with specific and stable gene expression patterns Eukaryot Cell.3:536-45..

Roux, A, Beloin, C. and Ghigo, J.M.(2005) A combined inactivation/expression strategy to study gene function in physiological conditions: application to the identification of new adhesins in E. coli. J. Bacteriol.187:1001-1013.

Iraqui,I. ;Aubert, S. ;Dromer, F. ; Ghigo, J.M. D'enfert, C. And G. Janbon (2005) Epa6p Is A Major Adhesin Responsible For Biofilm Formation In Candida Glabrata Mol Microbiol. 55:1259-71

Complete description and operative mode of the MF system can be distributed through licensing. For licensing informations please contact:


Office of Technology Transfer: Licences and R&D

Tél.: +33 (0)1 45 68 81 73
Mob.: +33 (0)6 08 96 41 09
Fax: +33 (0)1 40 61 37 32

Watch the introductory Video clip of MF installation and use