ISPE Glossary of Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Terminology

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(SEMATECH) A collection of microorganisms, extracellular polymeric products, and organic matter located at the interface in solid-liquid, gas-liquid, or liquid-liquid biphasic systems.


Microbial community, frequently enclosed in exocellular polymers, that adheres to a surface.

NOTE: Biofilms develop on wet surfaces of rooms, equipment and machinery that handle organic matter in non-aseptic conditions (e.g. in pharmaceutical, cosmetic, or food factories; hospitals; kitchens; water pipes; ventilation ducts; etc.).


A film of microorganisms or cell components adhering to surfaces submerged in or subjected to fluid environments.

Publication Source: American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Bioprocessing Equipment (BPE) - 2009 Revision

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