Confocal Laser Scanning microscopy (CLSM) for Biofilm Assay

Creative Biolabs provides a full range of services for next-generation probiotics research. The use of specialized technology platforms, coupled with industry-leading screening and characterization techniques, provides our team with the ability to design flexible solutions that adapt to the barriers our clients encounter in their research.


Microscopy has been rediscovered as a highly valuable approach to all biological questions, and it is indispensable for the investigation of biofilms. Confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) is an optical microscope equipped with a laser beam, particularly useful in biology and life sciences to study thick samples. Confocal laser scanning microscopy technology makes it possible to scan a thick biological sample, e.g. a microbial biofilm.

CLSM of saliva-derived biofilms.Fig.1 CLSM of saliva-derived biofilms. (Li, 2017)

CLSM Technique for Biofilm Assay at Creative Biolabs

Biological samples are usually stained with a specific fluorescent dye so that the fluorescence of the illuminated spot is collected into the objective and converted by a photodiode in the computer-processed electrical signal. This technique has been widely used in the study of biofilms, especially for EPS components and biofilm cells themselves. Using CLSM, the image of biofilm formed on various surfaces, even transparent or non-transparent surfaces. CLSM allows the determination of the three-dimensional architecture of the sample and quantitative parameters such as the biofilm biovolume, thickness, roughness, and distribution of cells in the biofilm structure can be extracted.

Why is it Necessary in Biofilm Research?

In most biological disciplines, CLSM is primarily used to examine fixed specimens stained with fluorescently labeled antibodies or organ-specific probes. In contrast, bacterial biofilm began studies with the study of living biofilms as they grew on the surfaces of glass-walled perfusion chambers. Moreover, CLSM is the most widely used fluorescence microscopy to study biofilms as it allows for the evaluation of the spatial structure of the biofilm and the visualization of cell distribution on the biofilm matrix.


CLSM is a popular method for imaging microbial biofilms because it allows direct, noninvasive, and optical sectioning of biofilms with minimal sample preparation and good spatial resolution. CLSM not only guarantees the 3D visualization of the intact biofilm structure but also allows the labeling of different components of the biofilm and the spatial relationship between the extracellular matrix and the biofilm by using fluorescent dyes to identify macromolecules such as polysaccharides, proteins, nucleic acids, and lipids.

  • Resolution is compatible with single-cell visualization.
  • Reconstruction of 3D images of a sample.
  • No need for extensive computer processing.
  • Applicable for long and short-term detection.

With more than 10 years of combined experience at Creative Biolabs, our highly skilled scientists are ready to start your next-generation probiotics project. We work closely with our clients to develop customized, detailed workflows so that you understand each step of the project before work begins. A dedicated project manager will monitor the progress of the project and communicate important details with you in real-time. If you are interested in our CLSM technology to detect biofilm services, please do not hesitate to contact us.


  1. Li, B.; et al. Anti-Bacterial and Microecosystem-Regulating Effects of Dental Implant Coated with Dimethylaminododecyl Methacrylate. Molecules. 2017, 22(11): 2013.

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