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The Limitations of In Vitro Experimentation in Understanding Biofilms and Chronic Infection

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We have become increasingly aware that, during infection, pathogenic bacteria often grow in multicellular biofilms that are often highly resistant to antibacterial strategies. In order to understand how biofilms form and contribute to infection, many research groups around the world have heavily used in vitro biofilm systems such as microtitre plate assays and flow cells. Whilst these methods have greatly increased our understanding of the biology of biofilms, it is becoming increasingly apparent that many of our in vitro methods do not accurately represent in vivo conditions. Here we present a systematic review of the most widely used in vitro biofilm systems, and we discuss why they are not always representative of the in vivo biofilms found in chronic infections. We present examples of methods that will help us to bridge the gap between in vitro and in vivo biofilm work so that we can ultimately use our benchside data to improve bedside treatment.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Molecular Biology
Volume427
Issue number23
Pages (from-to)3646-61
Number of pages16
ISSN0022-2836
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Nov 2015

ID: 46284620