Date of this Version
Future Med Chem. 2012 June ; 4(10): 1273–1306. doi:10.4155/fmc.12.59.
Infectious diseases can be difficult to cure, especially if the pathogen forms a biofilm. After decades of extensive research into the morphology, physiology and genomics of biofilm formation, attention has recently been directed toward the analysis of the cellular metabolome in order to understand the transformation of a planktonic cell to a biofilm. Metabolomics can play an invaluable role in enhancing our understanding of the underlying biological processes related to the structure, formation and antibiotic resistance of biofilms. A systematic view of metabolic pathways or processes responsible for regulating this ‘social structure’ of microorganisms may provide critical insights into biofilm-related drug resistance and lead to novel treatments. This review will discuss the development of NMR-based metabolomics as a technology to study medically relevant biofilms. Recent advancements from case studies reviewed in this manuscript have shown the potential of metabolomics to shed light on numerous biological problems related to biofilms.