(1) Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
(2) Department of Cranio-Maxillofacial and Oral Surgery, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
(3) Division of Oral Surgery, Bernhard Gottlieb School of Dentistry, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
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Voice prostheses made of silicone are gold standard in voice rehabilitation of laryngectomized patients. However, the in situ device lifetimes are limited due to candida biofilm infestation. Recent in vitro studies report surface roughness as possible promoting factor for initial phases of biofilm formation, but do not evaluate its impact on later colonization processes.
The goal of this study was to investigate the impact of surface roughness of prosthetic silicone on growth kinetics and colonization patterns of a candida biofilm over an observation period of 19 days.
Material and methods
Six platelets of medical grade silicone were roughened to half and incubated in a 2-species in vitro biofilm model of Candida albicans and Streptococcus salivarius over 19 days. Biofilm growth kinetics and local surface distribution of macroscopic biofilm deposits on the platelets were assessed 3 times a week using an image analysis tool (“biofilm mapping”).
On all platelets a stable in vitro biofilm formation could be achieved without any difference in quantity and localization between the roughened and the smooth half. Interestingly, the biofilm mapping technique identified preferred biofilm formation on the upper edges of all test platelets, regardless of the surface finish.
Surface roughness of silicone might enhance initial microbial adhesion and early phases of biofilm formation. Local factors seem to have more impact on long-term biofilm colonization patterns than surface characteristics.