Chapter 1 Introduction to Biofilms

About This Chapter

Contributing Authors:  Many

In this chapter of the hypertextbook we introduce the topic of biofilms. If you are an introductory student this may be the only chapter in the book that you are required to read. Even if this is the case, you will leave with an understanding of the many issues involving biofilms that are important to society. If, instead, your studies take you further down the biofilm path, this chapter will lay the groundwork for a deeper understanding of biofilms gleaned from later chapters.

Why should we study biofilms?

The study of biofilms represents a radical new way of understanding the microbiology of virtually everything around us, from problems that afflict industry to serious public health issues. Along with this new understanding comes an exciting possibility for a new generation of researchers and practitioners: the opportunity to rethink strategies for dealing with microbes of all sorts if they are part of a biofilm—an issue that in the past was overlooked or not handled properly, because no one recognized the significance of biofilms.. The potential to do immense good for our world as a whole is held out to those who enter this field.

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