In vitro study of biofilm growth on biologic prosthetics

Charles Bellows, Alison Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Biologic prosthetics are increasingly used for the repair of abdominal wall hernia defects but can become infected as a result of peri- or early post-operative bacterial contamination. Data evaluating biofilm formation on biologic prosthetics is lacking. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of different biologic prosthetics on the growth behavior of two different bacterial species and their ability to form biofilms. Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) or Pseudomonas aeruginosa were incubated on disks of two biologic prosthetics-human acellular dermis (ADM), and porcine small intestinal submucosa (SIS). The bacteria were allowed to attach to the prosthetics and propagate into mature biofilms for 24 hours at 37°C. Images of biofilms were obtained using confocal microscopy and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The number of viable cells and the biofilm biomass were quantified by colony forming units (CFUs) and crystal violet staining respectively. Analysis of variance was performed to compare the mean values for the different prosthetics. Each biologic matrix had a distinct surface characteristic. SEM visualized mature biofilms characterized by highly organized multi-cellular structures on surface of both biologic prosthetics. Quantification of bacterial growth over time showed that ADM had the lowest CFUs and biofilm biomass at 24 hours post-inoculation compared to SIS for both bacterial strains. MRSA and P. aeruginosa can form mature biofilms on biologic prosthetics but the relative abundance of the biofilm varies on different prosthetic constructs. Biologic material composition and manufacturing methods may influence bacterial adherence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)409-414
Number of pages6
JournalPolish Journal of Microbiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Biofilm
  • Biofilm biomass
  • Biologic prosthetics
  • MRSA
  • P. aeruginosa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Microbiology (medical)


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