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Int Endod J. 2020 Jan;53(1):53-61. doi: 10.1111/iej.13202. Epub 2019 Aug 31.

The influence of substrate surface conditioning and biofilm age on the composition of Enterococcus faecalis biofilms.

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Faculty of Dentistry, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR.
Faculty of Dentistry, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.
Division of Oral Diseases, Department of Dental Medicine, Karolinska Institute, Huddinge, Sweden.



To investigate the null hypothesis that neither the surface conditioning (collagen, serum, saliva) of hydroxyapatite (HA) discs, nor the biofilm age (3 days vs. 21 days) has a significant effect on the cellular and matrix composition of biofilms, using Enterococcus faecalis as the model organism.


Sterile HA discs were conditioned with collagen, saliva or serum, and inoculated with E. faecalis to form 3-day and 21-day-old biofilms. Unconditioned discs served as controls. The biofilms were analysed using culture-dependent and independent (confocal microscopy and biochemical analysis) methods, to determine the colony-forming units and the biofilm matrix composition (polysaccharides and proteins), respectively. Statistical analyses were performed using appropriate parametric and nonparametric tests (P = 0.05).


Collagen conditioning significantly increased the number of CFUs in the 21-day biofilms, compared to the 3-day biofilms (P < 0.05). Although the biochemical analysis revealed that surface conditioning had no significant effect on the total carbohydrate content in the 21-day biofilms, confocal microscopic analysis revealed that collagen and saliva conditioning selectively increased the polysaccharide content of 21-day biofilms, compared to the 3-day biofilms (P < 0.05).


The results of this study raise an important methodological concern that the substrate conditioning substances and biofilm age differentially influence the cellular and extracellular matrix components of E. faecalis biofilms.


EPS matrix; Enterococcus faecalis; biofilm; collagen; saliva; serum

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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