Advancing the understanding of biofilms with Raman Spectroscopy

Advancing the understanding of biofilms with Raman spectroscopy

A project led by Prof. Ihtesham Rehman at the University of Lancaster.

In this FAST Healthcare NetworksPlus project, the team will be exploring to understand the chemical pathway of biofilms formation and their contribution to antimicrobial resistance development.  Biofilms are a structured consortium of microbial cells encased in a matrix of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS). No current antimicrobial therapy can eradicate mature biofilms and this EPS matrix acts as a physical barrier to antimicrobials. To completely eradicate biofilm infections, it is important to design new therapies that target the components of EPS.

In this study, Raman micro-spectroscopy - combined with quantitative analysis will be used to understand the dynamics of EPS accumulation in biofilms. We believe that Raman imaging could be used to identify matrix components along with their spatial distribution within biofilms, which will be useful in devising ways to weaken biofilms and increase susceptibility to antimicrobials.

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