Discrimination of biofilm samples using pattern recognition techniques

Stanimirova, Ivana; Kubik, Andrea; Walczak, Beata; Einax, Jürgen W.
March 2008
Analytical & Bioanalytical Chemistry;Mar2008, Vol. 390 Issue 5, p1273
Academic Journal
Biofilms are complex aggregates formed by microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi and algae, which grow at the interfaces between water and natural or artificial materials. They are actively involved in processes of sorption and desorption of metal ions in water and reflect the environmental conditions in the recent past. Therefore, biofilms can be used as bioindicators of water quality. The goal of this study was to determine whether the biofilms, developed in different aquatic systems, could be successfully discriminated using data on their elemental compositions. Biofilms were grown on natural or polycarbonate materials in flowing water, standing water and seawater bodies. Using an unsupervised technique such as principal component analysis (PCA) and several supervised methods like classification and regression trees (CART), discriminant partial least squares regression (DPLS) and uninformative variable elimination–DPLS (UVE-DPLS), we could confirm the uniqueness of sea biofilms and make a distinction between flowing water and standing water biofilms. The CART, DPLS and UVE-DPLS discriminant models were validated with an independent test set selected either by the Kennard and Stone method or the duplex algorithm. The best model was obtained from CART with 100% correct classification rate for the test set designed by the Kennard and Stone algorithm. With CART, one variable describing the Mg content in the biofilm water phase was found to be important for the discrimination of flowing water and standing water biofilms.


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