Conditioning film and environmental effects on the adherence of Candida spp. to silicone and poly(vinylchloride) biomaterials.

David Jones, J.G. McGovern, Colin Adair, David Woolfson, Sean Gorman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


The reported incidence of colonization of oropharyngeal medical devices with Candida spp. has increased in recent years, although few studies that have systematically examined the adherence of yeast cells to such biomaterials, the primary step in the process of colonization. This study, therefore, examined the effects of oropharyngeal atmospheric conditions (5% v/v carbon dioxide) and the presence of a salivary conditioning film on both the surface properties and adherence of Candida albicans, Candida krusei and Candida tropicalis to PVC and silicone. Furthermore, the effects of the salivary conditioning film on the surface properties of these biomaterials are reported. Growth of the three Candida spp. in an atmosphere containing 5% v/v CO2 significantly increased their cell surface hydrophobicity and reduced the zeta potential of C. albicans and C. krusei yet increased the zeta potential of C. tropicalis (p < 0.05). Furthermore, growth in 5% v/v CO2 decreased the adherence of C. tropicalis and C. albicans to both PVC and silicone, however, increased adherence of C. krusei (p < 0.05). Pre-treatment of the microorganisms with pooled human saliva significantly decreased their cell surface hydrophobicity and increased their adherence to either biomaterial in comparison to yeast cells that had been pre-treated with PBS (p < 0.05). Saliva treatment of the microorganisms had no consistent effect on microbial zeta potential. Interestingly, adherence of the three, saliva-treated Candida spp. to saliva-treated silicone and PVC was significantly lower than whenever the microorganisms and biomaterials had been treated with PBS (p < 0.05). Treatment of silicone and PVC with saliva significantly altered the surface properties, notably reducing both the advancing and receding contact angles and, additionally, the microrugosity. These effects may contribute to the decreased adherence of saliva-treated microorganisms to these biomaterials. In conclusion, this study has demonstrated the effects of physiological conditions within the oral cavity on the adherence of selected Candida spp. to biomaterials employed as oropharyngeal medical devices. In particular, this study has ominously shown that these materials act as substrates for yeast colonization, highlighting the need for advancements in biomaterial design. Furthermore, it is important that physiological conditions should be employed whenever biocompatibility of oropharyngeal biomaterials is under investigation. © 2001 Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)399-405
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Bioengineering


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