Biofilm facts for kids
These sticky cells create a slimy layer outside the cells of the body. The cells in the biofilm produce extracellular polysaccharides, proteins, lipids and DNA. Because they have three-dimensional structure they are a community lifestyle for microorganisms. They have been metaphorically described as "cities for microbes".
The biofilm bacteria can share nutrients and are sheltered from harmful factors in their local environment, such as desiccation, antibiotics, and the host's immune system. The film of bacteria which live on your teeth are an example. Biofilms also form on inorganic objects like stones in water.
Images for kids
Staphylococcus aureus biofilm on an indwelling catheter
Five stages of biofilm development: (1) Initial attachment, (2) Irreversible attachment, (3) Maturation I, (4) Maturation II, and (5) Dispersion. Each stage of development in the diagram is paired with a photomicrograph of a developing P. aeruginosa biofilm. All photomicrographs are shown to the same scale.
Mats of bacterial biofilm color the hot springs in Yellowstone National Park. The longest raised mat area is about half a meter long.
Biofilm Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.