Research program banner


  • is motivated by industrial concerns and involvement of industry partners;
  • is conducted at multiple scales of observation, from molecular to field-scale;
  • involves interdisciplinary investigations;
  • provides relevant research opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students;
  • is enhanced by productive collaborations with researchers at other institutions;
  • is funded by competitive grants and industrial memberships; and
  • produces both fundamental and applied results.

The CBE's long history of research success results from adaptability to new information and analytical technologies and flexibility in addressing biofilm issues in comprehensive ways, using its deep bench of MSU researchers with diverse specialties in biofilm studies. Discover the breadth and depth of the CBE's research team by exploring our Affiliated Faculty.


  • Biofilm control strategies: antimicrobial efficacy | biocides | bioelectric effect | disinfectants | inhibitory coatings | bioactive compounds
  • Energy solutions: biofuels | product souring | coalbed methane production | microbial fuel cells
  • Environmental technologies: bioremediation | wetlands | CO2 sequestration | biobarriers | biomineralization | microbes & mining issues
  • Health/medical biofilms: chronic wound healing | catheter infections | oral health | food safety
  • Industrial systems & processes: biofouling | biocorrosion | product contamination | microbe-metal interactions
  • Standardized methods: product claims | regulatory issues | ASTM methods acceptance
  • Water systems: drinking water quality | premise plumbing | water treatment | distribution systems


  • Biofilms in nature: microbes in hot & cold environments | role of biofilms in natural processes | biomimetics | biogeochemistry
  • Cellular/intracellular: phenotype | genetics | metabolic pathways | proteomics
  • Multicellular/extracellular: flow and transport in biofilm systems | material properties | quorum sensing | structure-function | heterogeneities | matrix
  • Ecology/physiology: population characterization | spatial and temporal population dynamics


  • Instrumentation: microscopy | nuclear magnetic resonance imaging | gas chromatography | microfluidics
  • Methods development: experimental design | variability | ruggedness | repeatability | statistical evaluation
  • Modeling: cellular automata modeling | mathematics | hydrodynamics
  • Basic microbiology techniques: total and direct counts | MIC determination | viable cell counts
  • Molecular biology techniques: DNA extraction | PCR | DGGE | microarrays | sequencing


Standardized Biofilm Methods Laboratory

Facilities overview


Gallery: Journal cover images

CBE milestones (history)

Affiliated faculty and their specialties

Slideshow: Why companies need the CBE


YouTube video icon“CBE documentary on real-world problems of biofilms”

YouTube video icon “Think Outside Expectations: MSU's Women in Engineering”

 YouTube video icon “Impacting healthcare sciences nationally and internationally through research, education, and outreach” 

                (CBE featured at minute 2:25). Video courtesy of MSU's Division of Health Sciences.

YouTube icon “Discover the Center for Biofilm Engineering at MSU”