Development of impedimetric based biosensors for early detection of bacterial biofilm development 

Bacterial biofilms are complex three-dimensional structures that are formed by one or more bacterial species and an extracellular matrix which gives unique characteristics to such biosystems. The highly resistance to antimicrobial agents is the most relevant skill of these communities, that makes their elimination extremely difficult. Biofilm development supposes a real problem in a wide variety of environments: food industry, healthcare, oil or water conducts, etc. The early detection of these microbial systems is the key for the effectiveness of treatments in each case.

The main goal of this research is the detection of biofilms at the early stages of development and the biofilm growth monitoring under different culturing conditions. This is achieved by measuring the variation of electrical impedance in microbial cultures. This development could be applied in general to any situation where bacterial biofilms represent a problem.

Interdigitated microelectrode based biosensor was design and fabricated by means of silicon technologies for this application. Different experimental setups were also developed for bacterial biofilm cultures and impedance measuring. These testing systems allow the generation of reproducible and lifelike environments for in vitro biofilm development.