Biofilm Create! Competition 2022: Winners Announced
We’re pleased to announce the winners of our Biofilm Create! Competition.
We launched the competition in July 2022 as part of our #BiofilmAware campaign, which works to raise awareness of NBIC and its research, and the many societal and economic impacts of biofilms. We are pleased to announce the winners below.
The competition had two categories: photography and art, and was a great opportunity for members of the public, budding artists and photographers to explore biofilms in their everyday environments and is also a chance for scientists to look at creative ways of showcasing their cutting-edge research.
Thank you very much for everyone who took part. The quality of the entries in both categories were outstanding. Amazon gift cards were awarded to first (£500), second (£250) and third place (£125) in both categories.
Art Category Winners
1st Place: Ruby Tait, Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh.
‘Biofilms in depth’
Embroidered pieces depicting the range of biofilms research. The four embroidery hoops are inspired by the study of the movement of biofilms, the study of individual biofilms, the use in everyday products (through the discovery of biofilms in nato potentially used for stopping ice cream from melting, and the study of biofilms in biofouling.
2nd Place: Dr Irill Ishak, University of Bristol.
‘The dying face of E. coli’
A seemingly dying E. coli cell lying on top of a polyethylene terephthalate (PET) nanospiked surface after incubated for 3 hours. The image was acquired using FEG-SEM at 75-degree tilt angle and magnified at 100000x magnification which revealed “the dying face” of E. coli where the “eyes” and “mouth” are the cell’s surface proteins while the flagella as the “arm” of the cell. Our research suggests that this particular bacterium is dying due to the interaction with the nanospikes. The nanospikes are stretching and rupturing the cell membrane which causes the bacterium unable to proliferate and eventually died, thus limiting the chances of biofilm formation. This image was acquired at Wolfson Bioimaging Facility at the University of Bristol by Dr Irill Ishak during his PhD. The backscattered and secondary electron micrographs were acquired, false-coloured in Adobe Photoshop, and combined to get the final image.
3rd Place: Sam Church, Professor Emma Roe, Dr Sandra Wilks and Dr Paul Hurley, University of Southampton.
Set of drawings by Sam Church that narrate conversations in a workshop run by Emma Roe and Paul Hurley on Microbial Neighbouring, with members of the Global Network for Anti-Microbial Resistance and Infection Prevention (Global-NAMRIP).
Download and play the full PDF presentation here.
Photography Category Winners
1st Place: Mark Burton, University of Southampton.
In this stagnant pond, bacteria oxidises the iron released from the ground water creating this bright orange slime.
2nd Place: Jiaqi Luo, University of Liverpool.
It is really a “film”! Don’t just look at it, but feel it! Feel the smooth texture at the centre of the EPS, feel its subtle interaction with the curli expressed by the Escherichia. coli on the edge…It was also a beautiful mistake why this “film” was obtained, simply a tilted substrate, and the medium-air interface plays the magic.
3rd Place: Manuel Romero, University of Nottingham
Bacteria (red) colonising the surface of a Hortensia petal replicate (cyan). Bio-mimicking fabrication methods are explored to create nano and micro-structured surfaces with antibiofilm properties for medical implants. Natural surface architectures reveal an exciting variety in surface topography. On the Hortense surfaces, red fluorescent bacteria attached mainly on the grooves next to the micrometer size folds displaying a magma-like flow outpouring volcanic mountains. Scale bar 20 µm.
Our diverse panel of 5 judges took part in an unbiased and anonymous judging process.
We sincerely thank the judging panel for their time and efforts in supporting our competition.
Chris Denning: Director of the University of Nottingham’s Biodiscovery Institute.
Paul Maguire: Freelance Photographer, with a background in Earth science and exploration.
Catriona Clark: Art student from the University of Edinburgh.
Ian Golding, University of Southampton
This is a small sculptural form that imagines the possible contents of a petri dish as imaginary planets in an ancient constellation map.
‘Synechocystis lit from behind’
Evan Wroe, Joshua Lawrence, Mairi Eyres, University of Cambridge
Here I’ve added a fluorescent flavin (cyan) to the cyanobacteria Synechocystis (also known as blue-green algae), to try to help us image the electrochemical gradient across the Synechocystis biofilm. Unfortunately it is mostly sucked up by the extracellular matrix that the cells produce to form a biofilm. At this resolution, and lit from behind by the flavin, it reveals the cells as little bubbles of liquid.