Adhesion of Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis to the Episkin® reconstructed epidermis model and to an inert 304 stainless steel substrate

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The aim of this study was to evaluate the respective influence of the physicochemical interactions and the roughness involved in the first part of the biological substrate biocontamination.

Methods and Results

Therefore we compared the bioadhesion results obtained on the biological model substrate (Episkin®) and on a commonly employed inert substrate (AISI 304 stainless steel), frequently used either in dermatology or in development of medical devices. The two studied strains presented different characteristics, both physicochemical and microbiological. Staphylococcus epidermidis, a relatively hydrophobic bacteria capable of exchanging interactions which are principally of the van der Waals type, adhered more to 304 steel than to the surface of reconstituted skin. As for S. aureus, an essentially basic, hydrophilic bacteria, was more adherent to Episkin® (a bipolar, hydrophilic substrate) than to stainless steel (a unipolar, basic, hydrophilic substrate).


In the absence of electrostatic interactions, the adhesion of substrate-dependent bacteria to the surface of reconstituted skin was dependent upon the balance between γLW, γ+ and γ−.

Significance and Impact of the Study

Consequently, so as to restrict microbial adhesion and reduce adhesive binding between micro-organisms and the surface of the skin, it would be preferable to render this substrate hydrophobic and apolar through the use of appropriate surface treatment.

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