Atomic force microscopy (AFM) has been used to visualise the formation of bacterial biofilms on polished surfaces of 316 stainless steel. Imaging under ambient conditions revealed both the bacterial cells and the matrix of exopolymeric substances (EPS). These images exhibited good resolution with cell surface features as small as 30 nm distinguishable. In situ imaging was also carried out, and although the resolution was considerably reduced, images revealing the process of bacteria division have been obtained.
Goddard, D. T.; Steele, A.; and Beech, I. B.
"Towards In Situ Atomic Force Microscopy Imaging of Biofilm Growth on Stainless Steel,"
Scanning Microscopy: Vol. 10
, Article 7.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/microscopy/vol10/iss4/7