In this study, the applicability of Raman microscopy (RM) for nondestructive chemical analysis of biofilm matrix, including microbial constituents and extracellular polymeric substances (EPS), has been assessed. The examination of a wide range of reference samples such as biofilm-specific polysaccharides, proteins, microorganisms, and encapsulated bacteria revealed characteristic frequency regions and specific marker bands for different biofilm constituents. Based on received data, the assignment of Raman bands in spectra of multispecies biofilms was performed. The study of different multispecies biofilms showed that RM can correlate various structural appearances within the biofilm to variations in their chemical composition and provide chemical information about a complex biofilm matrix. The results of RM analysis of biofilms are in good agreement with data obtained by confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM). Thus, RM is a promising tool for a label-free chemical characterization of different biofilm constituents. Moreover, the combination of RM with CLSM analysis for the study of biofilms grown under different environmental conditions can provide new insights into the complex structure/function correlations in biofilms.
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