DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Biofilm on a stainless steel surface (medical implant). Biofilms are primarily accumulations of bacteria in aqueous environments. They form when bacteria secrete slimy, mucilaginous materials that provide the microorganisms with a means of attachment to moist surfaces. Biofilm microorganisms often prefer the phase boundaries in moist environments. Biofilms can form on many different kinds of materials such as inorganic soil particles, animal and plant surfaces, plastics, metals, medical devices, etc. Biofilms can be created by a single bacterial species but often contain many species of bacteria along with fungi, protozoa, algae, and organic or inorganic debris. Magnification: x1,600 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.
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