Author(s): Karygianni L, Follo M, Hellwig E, Burghardt D, Wolkewitz M,
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Abstract A microscopic method for noninvasively monitoring oral biofilms at the macroscale was developed to describe the spatial distribution of biofilms of different bacterial composition on bovine enamel surfaces (BES). For this purpose, oral biofilm was grown in situ on BES that were fixed at approximal sites of individual upper jaw acrylic devices worn by a volunteer for 3 or 5 days. Eubacteria, Streptococcus spp., and Fusobacterium nucleatum were stained using specific fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) probes. The resulting fluorescence signals were subsequently tested by confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) and monitored by an automated wide-field microscope-based imaging platform (Scan∧R). Automated image processing and data analysis were conducted by microscope-associated software and followed by statistical evaluation of the results. The full segmentation of biofilm images revealed a random distribution of bacteria across the entire area of the enamel surfaces examined. Significant differences in the composition of the microflora were recorded across individual as well as between different enamel surfaces varying from sparsely colonized (47.26\%) after 3 days to almost full surface coverage (84.45\%) after 5 days. The enamel plates that were positioned at the back or in the middle of the oral cavity were found to be more suitable for the examination of biofilms up to 3 days old. In conclusion, automated microscopy combined with the use of FISH can enable the efficient visualization and meaningful quantification of bacterial composition over the entire sample surface. Due to the possibility of automation, Scan∧R overcomes the technical limitations of conventional CLSM.
This article was published in Appl Environ Microbiol
and referenced in Dentistry