Structural studies of microcosm dental plaques grown under different nutritional conditions

Jonathan Pratten, Christopher S. Andrews, Duncan Q. M. Craig, Michael Wilson

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The aim of this study was to investigate the structure of intact oral biofilms using confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM). Mixed-species biofilms were grown on enamel discs in a constant depth film fermenter. The biofilms were fed with a mucin-containing artificial saliva with or without sucrose supplementation. Biofilms were examined using a Wild-Leitz CLSM, operating in reflected light mode. The microstructure of non-supplemented biofilms was revealed to be complex, with stacks of bacteria developing over time, separated by clear channels. Sucrose-supplemented biofilms appeared to colonise the substratum more rapidly. The results of this study have shown that using CLSM it is possible to examine the structure of oral biofilms grown under conditions similar to those which would exist in vivo. (C) 2000 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-218
Number of pages4
JournalFEMS Microbiology Letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • biofilm
  • microcosm dental plaque
  • confocal laser scanning microscopy
  • sucrose

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