Biofilms are communities of surface-attached microorganisms encased in a self-produced extra cellular matrix. This lifestyle is widespread in most ecosystems, in which bacteria, fungi, unicellular algae and protists can develop as biofilms on all type of available mineral or organic surfaces.
Bacterial biofilms are also present in industrial and medical settings. In the later case biofilms are responsible for many contaminations of medical devices leading to nosocomial infections. Control of biofilms is therefore a major concern with important health and economic issues
In the laboratory we use genetic, genomic and molecular biology approaches to understand how commensal and pathogenic Escherichia coli biofilms are formed as well as to reveal new biological processes taking place within bacterial communities.
Although our research objective is to improve fundamental understanding of the biofilm lifestyle, our approaches could also help to identify new strategies to control or limit the extent of pathogenic or detrimental biofilms in situation where they represent a sanitary, industrial or ecological problem.