Bacteria are often associated with surfaces - biotic as well as abiotic. The molecular mechanisms by which single suspended cells attach to surfaces and initiate development of elaborate biomass structures have been studied intensely during the past five to10 years, and we now have some general understanding of the processes involved from several examples. This review focuses on factors playing an important role in microbial biofilm development and in particular addresses whether it is possible to extrapolate information about Escherichia coli (E.coli) or Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P.aeruginosa) flow-chamber biofilms to how these microorganisms live in the human body in connection with the various infections they represent in patients. The major challenge for the coming years is to assess the relevance of the obtained information about laboratory systems for interesting cases of in vivo biofilms, and preliminary data suggest that this may not be as easy as one might hope for.
Keywords: structural development, molecular mechanism, bacterial life styles