Biofilm under a confocal microscope

Made for Ryerson Science Rendezvous 2013

To make this hollow biofilm 3D structure, I used three upside down styrofoam cups and bit off the edges and flattened them out a little by cutting the body vertically so they looked like hollow mountains.  I drilled a hole in the middle of the glass bowl and inserted some LED lights to light the inside of the “biofilm cave” and pulled the wire through and attached button batteries underneath.  Then I glued piece by piece the remnants of the alginate mold, liberally applied sprinkles, seeds, food colouring for the goopy bacteria effect.  This is pretty close to what biofilms looks like if constructed with a confocal microscope.

Pretty close to the real thing!

Pretty close to the real thing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can see the tunnels that bacteria create so that they can diffuse oxygen, nutrients and transport waste pretty easily throughout their "microbial city"

You can see the tunnels that bacteria create so that they can diffuse oxygen, nutrients and transport waste pretty easily throughout their “microbial city”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more science rendezvous activities: https://karenquinto.com/science-rendezvous/