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Bacterial adhesion to inert thermoplastic surfaces

Verran, Joanna and Taylor, Rebecca L. and Lees, Graham C. (1996) Bacterial adhesion to inert thermoplastic surfaces. Journal of materials science: materials in medicine, 7 (10). pp. 597-601. ISSN 0957-4530

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Abstract

The adhesion of four bacterial species, two strains of each, to four hydrophobic thermoplastics was observed. Image analysis of adherent cells stained with acridine orange provided a rapid, direct and objective means of measuring adhesion to clear, translucent and opaque surfaces by calculating the percentage area of a microscopic field covered by cells (percentage coverage). There was a highly significant correlation (P>0.05) between percentage coverage value and adherent cell count (obtained manually) for both rods and cocci. Bacterial adhesion to thermoplastics appeared to be strain specific and was not related to polymer composition. Highest percentage coverage values were obtained using hydrophobic bacteria, and lowest using hydrophilic bacteria. There was no relationship between the origin of the organisms (culture collections or isolates from biomaterial-associated infections) and their ability to adhere, after cultivation in brain heart infusion broth. Many factors influence this ability: an awareness of all experimental variables is essential.

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