The Binghamton Biofilm Research Center (BBRC) is a multidisciplinary State University of New York Organized Research Center on the Binghamton University campus. The BBRC is comprised of 24 faculty from eight University departments, engaged in research on microbial biofilms with a focus on biofilm control. The BBRC encompasses three research divisions that act as focus groups for investigators involved in commonly themed research in the areas of health, environmental and engineered systems research.
- The Health Research Focus involves all biofilm research relating to health, including topics such as development of novel antibiofilm therapies, research on biofilm resistance and persistence, and using biofilms to mitigate or prevent disease. The Health Research Focus supports the University-wide Health Sciences Initiative of the Binghamton Transdisciplinary Areas of Excellence program.
- The Environmental Research Focus involves biofilm research relating to biofilms in the natural and built environment, including topics such as surface disinfection, bioremediation, managing biofilms in industrial processes, etc.
- The Engineered Systems Research Focus involves biofilm research where biofilms are engineered to carry out a desired function, such as microbial fuel cells, biological transformations, natural products formation, etc.
What are biofilms?
Biofilms are biological films that develop and persist at interfaces in aqueous environments. These biological films are composed of cells immobilized at a surface that may be embedded in an organic polymer matrix of microbial origin. Biofilm cells differ from their planktonic counterparts in the genes and proteins they express, resulting in distinct phenotypes that include altered resistance to biocides, antibiotics and the human immune system. Bacterial biofilms have been implicated in more than 80 percent of chronic inflammatory and infectious diseases, including ear infections, native valve endocarditis, urinary tract infections, burn and non-healing wounds and infections of indwelling medical devices. Biofilms are also the principal cause of biofouling, a persistent problem in marine and industrial environments. Biofouling affects food processing, water purification and distribution, the pharmaceutical and petroleum industries, as well as essentially all other industries having materials exposed to water
The BBRC focuses on the unique biology of biofilm bacteria and is involved in studies including cell-to-cell communication, resistance to antimicrobial agents, biofilm dispersion, regulation of biofilm development and host-pathogen interactions. The Biofilm Research Group has expertise in both pure and applied research on microbial biofilms and specializes in investigations with mature biofilms. The team has made significant contributions to our understanding of biofilm development and regulation and the physiology of biofilm bacteria. Research findings by Center Investigators have been published in peer-reviewed journals in the field of biofilm research and biofilm testing methods developed by BBRC faculty are widely used internationally.
The BBRC core microbiology faculty have extensive experience in prokaryote molecular biology, biochemistry and physiology, which form a framework for the research performed at the Center. Understanding and manipulating bacterial behavior is central to all BBRC research and we believe central to effective management of biofilm communities. The BBRC is at the forefront of research on biofilm dispersion and biofilm development and has developed several novel strategies for biofilm control that are available for license through the Binghamton University Technology Transfer Office.
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