Surgical biomaterials and differential colonization by Staphylococcus epidermidis

M. Oga, Y. Sugioka, C. D. Hobgood, A. G. Gristina, Q. N. Myrvik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Scopus citations


The data presented in this communication demonstrate preferential colonization of certain biomaterials by Staphylococcus epidermidis. Using a laminar flow biomaterial colonization chamber and surgical-grade biomaterials (stainless steel, aluminium ceramic, methyl methacrylate and high-density polyethylene), the pattern of colonization was quantitated using plate count techniques and electron microscopy. Under comparable conditions, methyl methacrylate was colonized by S. epidermidis in greater numbers than the other biomaterials. Increased bacterial colonization and slime production on methyl methacrylate was time-dependent and 15 times higher than on stainless steel and aluminium and four times higher than on high-density polyethylene. The data reveal that certain biomaterials may promote infection by favouring colonization by potential pathogens. This variable should be explored extensively in an in vivo setting because of its implication in clinical infections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)285-289
Number of pages5
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1988

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Biophysics
  • Biomaterials
  • Mechanics of Materials


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