How to explain the complexity of biofilms and the importance of studying them to those not familiar in the field?

Go to the profile of Ramona Khanum
Ramona Khanum on Oct 09, 2015 • 2 answers
During a presentation, I used a 'city' to explain biofilms. Once established, it only grows in all aspects and becomes more difficult to eradicate. It requires multiple systems to operate and ways to communicate. Transportation systems are like nutrient channels, Facebook like quorum sensing and migration like dispersing cells. How else can biofilms be represented in daily conversations?

Answers

Good analogy.
You could also say that biofilms offer protection to microbes, similar to the way that city dwellers are protected against weather. The deeper the microbes are within the biofilm, the more protected against e.g. antibiotics. I hope that this helps!

Go to the profile of Elisabeth M. Bik
Elisabeth M. Bik on Oct 09, 2015

I also like this analogy. You can also say that different parts of the microbial population have different roles, similar to the people in a city.

Go to the profile of Ben Libberton
Ben Libberton on Dec 10, 2015