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Analytica Chimica Acta
Volume 1195, 2022, 339433

Recent advances on the spectroscopic characterization of microbial biofilms: A critical review

Maria Chiara Sportellia,b, Christine Kranzc, Boris Mizaikoffc, Nicola Cioffia,d

Chemistry Department, University of Bari “Aldo Moro”, V. Orabona, 4, 70126, Bari, Italy.


Biofilms are a major cause of health and environmental issues. Bacteria organized in biofilms are much more resistant to biocides than their equivalents in the planktonic state. In this context, spectroscopic techniques have significantly contributed to a more fundamental understanding of biofilm formation, which is crucial to prevent and limit their generation, spreading, and maturation. In this review, recent progress on the main analytical approaches enabling the spectroscopic characterization of microbial biofilms is comparatively discussed. In addition, less commonly used techniques, facilitating biofilm studies, will be also presented. Advantages and drawbacks of each discussed technique will be underlined, thus providing an overview on spectroscopic approaches for studying biofilms.

Keywords: Biofilm, Spectroscopic characterization, Infrared attenuated total reflection, IR-ATR, Raman, Antimicrobial, Vibrational spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy.

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