Skip to main content Accessibility help

Observing the Biofilm Matrix of Staphylococcus epidermidis ATCC 35984 Grown Using the CDC Biofilm Reactor

  • Dustin L. Williams (a1) (a2) (a3) and Roy D. Bloebaum (a1) (a2) (a3)


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.


Corresponding author

Corresponding author. E-mail:


Hide All
Ammendolia, M.G., Di Rosa, R., Montanaro, L., Arciola, C.R. & Baldassarri, L. (1999). Slime production and expression of the slime-associated antigen by staphylococcal clinical isolates. J Clin Microbiol 37(10), 32353238.
Christensen, B.E. & Characklis, W.G. (1990). Physical and chemical properties of biofilms. In Biofilms, Characklis, W.G. & Marshall, K.C. (Eds.), pp. 93130. New York: John Wiley.
Costerton, J.W. (2007a). Bacterial attachment to surfaces. In The Biofilm Primer, Eckey, D.C. (Ed.), pp. 3643. Berlin: Springer.
Costerton, J.W. (2007b). Genetic efficiency of biofilms. In The Biofilm Primer, Eckey, D.C. (Ed.), pp. 7475. Berlin: Springer.
Costerton, J.W. (2007c). The predominance of biofilms in natural and engineered ecosystems. In The Biofilm Primer, Eckey, D.C. (Ed.), pp. 513. Berlin: Springer.
Costerton, J.W. (2007d). Tertiary structures formed within the matrices of biofilms. In The Biofilm Primer, Eckey, D.C. (Ed.), pp. 2734. Berlin: Springer.
Costerton, J.W., Geesey, G.G. & Cheng, K.-J. (1978). How bacteria stick. Sci Am 238(1), 8695.
Costerton, J.W., Stewart, P.S. & Greenberg, E.P. (1999). Bacterial biofilms: A common cause of persistent infections. Science 284(5418), 13181322.
Cvitkovitch, D.G. (2001). Genetic competence and transformation in oral streptococci. Crit Rev Oral Biol Med 12(3), 217243.
De Beer, D., Srinivasan, R. & Stewart, P.S. (1994). Direct measurement of chlorine penetration into biofilms during disinfection. Appl Environ Microbiol 60(12), 43394344.
Erlandsen, S.L., Kristich, C.J., Dunny, G.M. & Wells, C.L. (2004). High-resolution visualization of the microbial glycocalyx with low-voltage scanning electron microscopy: Dependence on cationic dyes. J Histochem Cytochem 52(11), 14271435.
Fassel, T.A. & Edminston, C.E. (1999). Bacterial biofilms: Strategies for preparing glycocalyx for electron microscopy. Methods Enzym 310(1), 194203.
Goeres, D.M., Loetterle, L.R., Hamilton, M.A., Murga, R., Kirby, D.W. & Donlan, R.M. (2005). Statistical assessment of a laboratory method for growing biofilms. Microbiology 151(Pt. 3), 757762.
Jiang, X. & Pace, J.L. (2006). Microbial biofilms. In Biofilms, Infection and Antimicrobial Therapy, Pace, J.L., Rupp, M.E. & Finch, R.G. (Eds.), pp. 319. Boca Raton, FL: Taylor & Francis Group.
Little, B., Wagner, P., Ray, R., Pope, R. & Scheetz, R. (1991). Biofilms: An ESEM evaluation of artifacts introduced during SEM preparation. J Industr Microbiol 8(4), 213222.
Litzler, P.-Y., Benard, L., Barbier-Frebourg, N., Vilain, S., Jouenne, T., Beucher, E., Bunel, C., Lemeland, J.-F. & Bessou, J.-P. (2007). Biofilm formation on pyrolytic carbon heart valves: Influence of surface free energy, roughness, and bacterial species. J Thoracic Cardiovasc Surg 134(4), 10251032.
Martinkova, L., Uhnakova, B., Patek, M., Nesvera, J. & Kren, V. (2008). Biodegradation potential of the genus Rhodococcus. Environ Int 35(1), 162177.
Modin, O., Fukushi, K. & Yamamoto, K. (2008). Simultaneous removal of nitrate and pesticides from groundwater using a methane-fed membrane biofilm reactor. Water Sci Technol 58(6), 12731279.
Nickel, J.C., Ruseska, I., Wright, J.B. & Costerton, J.W. (1985). Tobramycin resistance of Pseudomonas aeruginosa cells growing as a biofilm on urinary catheter material. Antimicrob Agents Chemotherapy 27(4), 619624.
Priester, J.H., Horst, A.M., Van De Werfhorst, L.C., Saleta, J.L., Mertes, L.A.K. & Holden, P.A. (2007). Enhanced visualization of microbial biofilms by staining and environmental scanning electron microscopy. J Microbiol Methods 68(3), 577587.
Pringault, O. & Garcia-Pichel, F. (2000). Monitoring of oxygenic and anoxygenic photosynthesis in a unicyanobacterial biofilm, grown in benthic gradient chamber. FEMS Microbiol Ecol 33(3), 251258.
Schaudinn, C., Stoodley, P., Kainović, A., O'Keeffe, T., Costerton, B., Robinson, D., Baum, M., Ehrlich, G. & Webster, P. (2007). Bacterial biofilms, other structures seen as mainstream concepts. Microbe 2(5), 231237.
Schmitt, J. & Flemming, H.-C. (1999). Water binding in biofilms. Water Sci Technol 39(7), 7782.
Thar, R. & Kuhl, M. (2002). Conspicuous veils formed by vibrioid bacteria on sulfidic marine sediment. Appl Environ Microbiol 68(12), 63106320.
Uhlinger, D.J. & White, D.C. (1983). Relationship between physiological status and formation of extracellular polysaccharide glycocalyx in Pseudomonas atlantica. Appl Environ Microbiol 45(1), 6470.



Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed