Adhesion of slime producing Staphylococcus epidermidis strains to PVC and diamond-like carbon/silver/fluorinated coatings

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Staphylococcus epidermidis has emerged as a pathogen associated with infections of implanted medical devices. Bacterial adhesion is a crucial step in infection on biomaterial surfaces. To quantitatively determine the relationship between poly (vinyl chloride) (PVC) surface properties and bacterial adhesion, we have compared attachment of slime-producing S. epidermidis strains on PVC and various coatings under flow conditions. Bacterial adhesion and colonization was quantified by counting the viable organisms on the adherent surface as well as by scanning electron microscopy, epifluorescence microscopy and atomic force microscopy. Fluorination of the PVC surface encourages S. epidermidis adhesion whereas; diamond-like carbon (DLC) and especially silver (Ag) coatings seem to inhibit its adhesion. In most materials, the number of adherent bacteria decreased with the increase of shear rate. These results indicate that bacterial adhesion is influenced by the chemical properties of the polymeric surfaces, the surface roughness and the associated flow conditions.

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