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Biofilms and Their Relevance in Cultural Heritage and Building Materials: Trends, Challenges and New Perspectives

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Applied Biosciences and Bioengineering".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 May 2024) | Viewed by 1175

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
1. Centre for Functional Ecology, Department of Life Sciences, University of Coimbra, 3000-456 Coimbra, Portugal
2. Fitolab, Laboratory for Phytopathology, Instituto Pedro Nunes, 3030-199 Coimbra, Portugal
Interests: mycology; biodeterioration; cultural heritage; genetics; phytopathology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Centre for Functional Ecology, Department of Life Sciences, University of Coimbra, 3000-456 Coimbra, Portugal
Interests: phycology; taxonomy; systematics; biocides; cyanobacteria

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Historic and non-historic buildings and stone monuments that compose our Cultural Heritage and our built patrimony are prone to colonization by different microorganisms (algae, cyanobacteria, fungi, bacteria) growing in the form of biofilms. These are considered highly metabolic and complex systems where microorganisms’ interactions with each other can help them deal with adverse environmental conditions, such as high UV radiation, desiccation, and extreme weather fluctuations. Although the role of microorganisms’ biofilms as bioprotective or biodeteriorative is still open for debate, once successfully adhered to stone monuments, artworks, and building materials, microorganisms can then have the chance to alter their properties. These changes may appear as merely aesthetic, with biofilms of plenty of colors growing epilithically, and/or may be induced by mechanical, physical and biogeochemical actions. Understanding the microbial composition of biofilms, how they interact with stone, wood and other building or supporting materials, and their modes of action are crucial for the development of control and preventive measures to protect our Cultural Heritage and our built patrimony. In recent decades, innovative methods and application of new treatments to control biofilm proliferation have also pave their way in the field of Cultural Heritage, ranging from nanotechnologies to the use of more eco-friendly and natural compounds. This Special Issue will focus on building and artwork biofilms, with relevance being given to studies of diversity and biodeterioration, bioreceptivity, as well as new control and preventive methods to control their proliferation on such materials (stone, concrete, ceramics, tiles, wood). Furthermore, the implications of the climate changes scenario on biofilm development are also welcomed in this Special Issue, as understanding how biofilms are shaped in this scenario is crucial for the preservation of cultural heritage and building materials worldwide in the near future.

Dr. António Manuel Santos Carriço Portugal
Dr. Fabiana Soares
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Applied Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • biofouling
  • cultural heritage
  • art
  • biodeterioration
  • bioreceptivity
  • building materials
  • conservation
  • restoration
  • new treatments
  • challenges
  • climate changes

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Research

15 pages, 1744 KiB  
Article
Development of a Method for Assessing the Resistance of Building Coatings to Phoatoautotrophic Biofouling
by Michał Komar, Justyna Szulc, Iwona Kata, Krzysztof Szafran and Beata Gutarowska
Appl. Sci. 2023, 13(14), 8009; https://doi.org/10.3390/app13148009 - 8 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 789
Abstract
The aim of this study was to develop a method for assessing the growth of photoautotrophs on plaster coatings, which will be used to reliably assess the resistance of these materials to photoautotrophic growth in the simulation of long-term exposure. In the course [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to develop a method for assessing the growth of photoautotrophs on plaster coatings, which will be used to reliably assess the resistance of these materials to photoautotrophic growth in the simulation of long-term exposure. In the course of the study, mineral and silicone plaster substrates were inoculated with a mixture of Stichococcus bacillaris, Nostoc commune, Pseudochlorella signiensis, and Coenochloris signiensis, and incubated for 28 days in model conditions. At 14 and 28 days after inoculation, the degree of photoautotrophic growth was determined using hemocytometer cell counting, a HY-LiTE 2 ATP measuring system, chlorophyll a concentration quantification, CIE L*a*b spectrophotometric color change evaluation, and visual assessment. The acquired results allowed us to select visual assessment and spectrophotometric color change evaluation as quick-to-perform and reliable techniques for further laboratory studies. The impact of minor changes introduced in the inoculation and incubation procedures on the rate of biofilm formation and severity of microbial fouling was studied. Differences in inoculation and incubation procedures strongly affected the results of the performed tests. Both methods have shown high potential and should be further expanded upon in environmental studies. Full article
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