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Microsc Microanal. 2010 Apr;16(2):143-52. doi: 10.1017/S143192760999136X. Epub 2010 Mar 8.

Observing the biofilm matrix of Staphylococcus epidermidis ATCC 35984 grown using the CDC biofilm reactor.

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Department of Veterans Affairs, Salt Lake City, UT 84148, USA.


Bacteria flourish in nearly every environment on earth. Contributing to their ability to grow in many esoteric locations is their development into a biofilm structure. In an effort to more accurately model the growth environment of biofilms in nature, a Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) biofilm reactor has been developed that mimics nature-like shear forces and renewable nutrient sources. To date, there has been no confirmation by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) that mature biofilms develop on a surface when grown using the CDC biofilm reactor. Three different SEM methods were used to collect images of Staphylococcus epidermidis ATCC 35984 that was to be grown using the CDC biofilm reactor. In addition, two different fixative techniques were used in each of the imaging methods. Results indicated that after 48 hours of growth in the reactor, S. epidermidis ATCC 35984 does produce a significant network of matrix components and 3D mushroom- or pillar-like structures with signs of water channel development. In conclusion, S. epidermidis ATCC 35984 grown using the CDC biofilm reactor does appear to display signs of mature biofilm development. These results could be important for studies wherein mature biofilms are needed for in vitro and/or in vivo applications.

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