Cambridge, Mass. July 30, 2012 Biofilms may no longer have any solid ground upon which to stand.A team of Harvard scientists has developed a slick way to prevent the troublesome bacterial communities from ever forming on a surface. Biofilms stick to just about everything, from copper pipes to steel ship hulls to glass catheters. The slimy coatings are more than just a nuisance, resulting in decreased energy efficiency, contamination of water and food supplies, andespecially in medical settingspersistent infections.
Even cavities in teeth are the unwelcome result of bacterial colonies.In a study published in the (), lead coauthors Joanna Aizenberg, Alexander Epstein, and Tak-Sing Wong coated solid surfaces with an immobilized liquid film to trick the bacteria into thinking they had nowhere to attach and grow.