This is an audio version of the Wikipedia Article:
00:02:39 1 Formation
00:05:03 2 Development
00:05:37 3 Dispersal
00:07:40 4 Properties
00:08:44 4.1 Extracellular matrix
00:11:41 5 Habitats
00:15:52 5.1 Dental plaque
00:20:17 6 Taxonomic diversity
00:22:01 7 Infectious diseases
00:25:37 7.1 iPseudomonas aeruginosa/i
00:26:45 7.2 iStreptococcus pneumoniae/i
00:28:31 8 Uses and impact
00:28:41 8.1 In medicine
00:30:00 8.2 In industry
00:31:47 8.3 Food industry
00:35:02 8.4 In aquaculture
00:36:18 9 Eukaryotic biofilms
00:38:04 10 See also
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Speaking Rate: 0.8466043123946025
Voice name: en-US-Wavenet-C
"I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think."
A biofilm comprises any syntrophic consortium of microorganisms in which cells stick to each other and often also to a surface. These adherent cells become embedded within a slimy extracellular matrix that is composed of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS). The cells within the biofilm produce the EPS components, which are typically a polymeric conglomeration of extracellular polysaccharides, proteins, lipids and DNA. Because they have three-dimensional structure and represent a community lifestyle for microorganisms, they have been metaphorically described as "cities for microbes".Biofilms may form on living or non-living surfaces and can be prevalent in natural, industrial and hospital settings. The microbial cells growing in a biofilm are physiologically distinct from planktonic cells of the same organism, which, by contrast, are single-cells that may float or swim in a liquid medium. Biofilms can form on the teeth of most animals as dental plaque, where they may cause tooth decay and gum disease.
Microbes form a biofilm in response to various different factors, which may include cellular recognition of specific or non-specific attachment sites on a surface, nutritional cues, or in some cases, by exposure of planktonic cells to sub-inhibitory concentrations of antibiotics. A cell that switches to the biofilm mode of growth undergoes a phenotypic shift in behavior in which large suites of genes are differentially regulated.A biofilm may also be considered a hydrogel, which is a complex polymer that contains many times its dry weight in water. Biofilms are not just bacterial slime layers but biological systems; the bacteria organize themselves into a coordinated functional community. Biofilms can attach to a surface such as a tooth, rock, or surface, and may include a single species or a diverse group of microorganisms. The biofilm bacteria can share nutrients and are sheltered from harmful factors in the environment, such as desiccation, antibiotics, and a host body's immune system. A biofilm usually begins to form when a free-swimming bacterium attaches to a surface.