Insights into the development of phototrophic biofilms in a bioreactor by a combination of X-ray microtomography and optical coherence tomography

  • As productive biofilms are increasingly gaining interest in research, the quantitative monitoring of biofilm formation on- or offline for the process remains a challenge. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a fast and often used method for scanning biofilms, but it has difficulty scanning through more dense optical materials. X-ray microtomography (μCT) can measure biofilms in most geometries but is very time-consuming. By combining both methods for the first time, the weaknesses of both methods could be compensated. The phototrophic cyanobacterium Tolypothrix distorta was cultured in a moving bed photobioreactor inside a biocarrier with a semi-enclosed geometry. An automated workflow was developed to process µCT scans of the biocarriers. This allowed quantification of biomass volume and biofilm-coverage on the biocarrier, both globally and spatially resolved. At the beginning of the cultivation, a growth limitation was detected in the outer region of the carrier, presumably due to shear stress. In the later phase, light limitations could be found inside the biocarrier. µCT data and biofilm thicknesses measured by OCT displayed good correlation. The latter could therefore be used to rapidly measure the biofilm formation in a process. The methods presented here can help gain a deeper understanding of biofilms inside a process and detect any limitations.

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Author:Susannne Schaefer, Jakob Walther, Dorina Strieth, Roland Ulber, Ulrich Bröckel
Parent Title (English):Microorganisms
Document Type:Article (specialist journals)
Date of OPUS upload:2022/09/12
Date of first Publication:2021/08/16
Publishing University:Hochschule Trier
Release Date:2022/09/12
Tag:MBBR; OCT; X-ray microtomography; biocarrier; biofilm; carrier; cyanobacteria; optical coherence tomography; photobioreactor; µCT
GND Keyword:Biofilm; Optische Kohärenztomografie; Cyanobakterien; Carrier; Photoreaktor
Page Number:14
First Page:1
Last Page:14
Departments:Institute / IMiP - Institut für Mikroverfahrenstechnik und Partikeltechnologie
Dewey Decimal Classification:6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 60 Technik
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY - Namensnennung 4.0 International