Process analysis of biofilms by photoacoustic spectroscopy

T. Schmid, C. Helmbrecht, U. Panne, C. Haisch, R. Niessner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Biofilms are aggregates of microorganisms and biopolymers which occur at aqueous interfaces. Biofilms play an important role in the degradation of pollutants in natural water systems as well as in wastewater treatment plants. In this communication, the use of photoacoustic spectroscopy (PAS) as a new biofilm monitoring technique is presented. PAS combines features of optical spectroscopy and ultrasonic tomography and allows a depth-resolved analysis of optically and acoustically inhomogeneous media. For the first time, both biofilm and bulk liquid were monitored by photoacoustic sensor heads. In this way, sorption of suspended iron(III) oxide particles on the outer and inner surfaces of the biofilm could be observed on-line and in situ. Colloids can act as carriers of pollutants and influence stability and degradation efficiency of biofilms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1124-1129
Number of pages6
JournalAnalytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 2003


  • Biofilms
  • Colloids
  • Particles
  • Photoacoustic spectroscopy


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