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Ultraviolet-Absorption Spectroscopic Biofilm MonitorAn ultraviolet-absorption spectrometer system has been developed as a prototype instrument to be used in continuous, real-time monitoring to detect the growth of biofilms. Such monitoring is desirable because biofilms are often harmful. For example, biofilms in potable-water and hydroponic systems act as both sources of pathogenic bacteria that resist biocides and as a mechanism for deterioration (including corrosion) of pipes. Biofilms formed from several types of hazardous bacteria can thrive in both plant-growth solutions and low-nutrient media like distilled water. Biofilms can also form in condensate tanks in air-conditioning systems and in industrial heat exchangers. At present, bacteria in potable-water and plant-growth systems aboard the space shuttle (and previously on the Mir space station) are monitored by culture-plate counting, which entails an incubation period of 24 to 48 hours for each sample. At present, there are no commercially available instruments for continuous monitoring of biofilms in terrestrial or spaceborne settings.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Johnson Space Center
Document Type
Other - NASA Tech Brief
Micheels, Ronald H.
(Polestar Technologies, Inc. MA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 25, 2013
Publication Date
February 1, 2004
Publication Information
Publication: NASA Tech Briefs, February 2004
Subject Category
Man/System Technology And Life Support
Report/Patent Number
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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