Although aquaculture is a major player in current and future food production, the routine use of antibiotics provides ample ground for development of antibiotic resistance. An alternative route to disease control is the use of probiotic bacteria such as the marine bacteria Phaeobacter inhibens which produces tropodithietic acid (TDA) that inhibit pathogens without affecting the fish. Improving conditions for the formation of biofilm and TDA-synthesis is a promising avenue for biocontrol in aquaculture. In this study, the biosynthesis of TDA by Phaeobacter inhibens grown on micro-structured polymeric surfaces in micro-fluidic flow-cells is investigated. The formation of biofilms on three surface topographies; hexagonal micro-pit-arrays, hexagonal micro-pillar-arrays, and planar references is investigated. The biomass on these surfaces is measured by a non-invasive confocal microscopy 3D imaging technique, and the corresponding TDA production is monitored by liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS) in samples collected from the outlets of the microfluidic channels. Although all surfaces support growth of P. inhibens, biomass appears to be decoupled from total TDA biosynthesis as the micro-pit-arrays generate the largest biomass while the micro-pillar-arrays produce significantly higher amounts of TDA. The findings highlight the potential for optimized micro-structured surfaces to maintain biofilms of probiotic bacteria for sustainable aquacultures.
Original languageEnglish
JournalRSC Advances
Issue number47
Pages (from-to)33159-33166
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2023


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