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Effects of sample preparation on bacterial colonization of polymers



Diana N. Zeiger, Christopher Stafford, Yajun Cheng, Stefan D. Leigh, Sheng Lin-Gibson, Nancy Lin


Characterization of materials developed for medical usage frequently includes studies in which the materials are inoculated with bacteria in order to assess biofilm formation. Differences in the bacteria are considered to be due to the material alone; the method of preparation of the material has not been considered in regard to its influence on bacterial colonization. The objective of this study was to determine the effects that various preparation methods exert on bacterial colonization of polymer disks. Polymer disks of the same dimethacrylate composition were photopolymerized: (1) between untreated glass slides, (2) between polyester release film, (3) between glass slides treated with an alkyl silane, (4) between glass slides treated with a perfluorinated silane, or (5) with one free surface in an argon-purged chamber. Hydrophobicity was assessed by water contact angle, surface chemistry was quantified using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and topography was characterized using atomic force microscopy. The disks were inoculated with Streptococcus mutans for 4 h, fixed, and visualized using confocal laser scanning microscopy. Differences among all groups were found with regard to hydrophobicity, topography, individual object area, object density, and total bacteria coverage, indicating that the method of sample preparation strongly affects both the surface properties and the initial bacterial colonization.


dimethacrylate, surface roughness, biofilm, surface treatment, polymer


Zeiger, D. , Stafford, C. , Cheng, Y. , Leigh, S. , Lin-Gibson, S. and Lin, N. (2009), Effects of sample preparation on bacterial colonization of polymers, Langmuir, [online], (Accessed June 17, 2024)


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Created October 18, 2009, Updated October 12, 2021