Highlights from the Biofilms and BioActive Fluids Workshop

The Biofilms and BioActive Fluids Workshop was a joint venture between the UK BioActive Fluids Network and the National Biofilms Innovation Centre, hosted from 6-8 June 2022 by the University of Liverpool.

The workshop sought to foster interactions between industry and academic researchers working on biofilms and on biologically active fluids (these are fluid flows containing an active component, such as swimming bacteria or algae).

The first two days focused on highlighting fundamental cutting-edge research from those within the field, and covered experimental, mathematical & computational approaches. 

First accelerated Biofilms ICURe Programme

Topics covered ranged from bacterial chemotaxis towards antibiotics, through to real-time monitoring of early-stage interactions and wastewater treatment solutions. The workshop concluded with a session from NBIC co-director Professor Cait MacPhee, who delivered a talk titled, ‘Surfing the wave – understanding biofilm formation and structure’.

The final day was a challenge-led research workshop and was introduced with a presentation on the work of NBIC by Co-Director, Professor Rasmita Raval. The talk covered the main areas of NBIC’s research framework at its four core partners: Prevention, Detection, Management and Engineering, and was followed with a Q&A from the room.

The researchers spent the morning discussing synergies & potential future areas for investigation as part of a challenge-led research session. They were given a morning to formulate potential research ideas for study, before pitching the idea as a group in the afternoon session. The resultant pitches highlighted the diversity within the research area and included:

  • BioDrag – developing smart & controllable algal biofilms to reduce drag on ship hulls.
  • TroBac – introducing genetically modified ‘Trojan Horse’ bacteria to out compete resident bacteria in biofilm.
  • TrackiBacki – modelling biofilm formation on tracheal tubes.

Our thanks to all the attendees and invited guest speakers, in particular Professor Rachel Bearon, who led on the workshop’s organisation and planning from the University of Liverpool.