This study proposes a high throughput method based on Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy (CLSM) combined with the use of 96-wells microtiter plates compatible with high resolution imaging for the study of biofilm formation and structure. As an illustration, the three-dimensional structures of biofilms formed by 60 opportunistic pathogens were thus observed and quantified. The results revealed the diversity of biofilm architectures. Specific spatial arrangement such as the mushroom-like structures already described for Pseudomonas aeruginosa was observed. Other features, such as hollow voids in microcolonies of Salmonella enterica strain Agona, were identified for the first time. The combined use of microplates and confocal imaging proved to be a good alternative to the other high throughput methods commonly used as it enables the direct, insitu, qualitative and quantitative characterization of biofilm architecture. This high content method should lead to a clearer understanding of the structure-function relationships implicated in biofilms traits.
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