INVESTIGATION OF THE SURFACE PROPERTIES OF STAPHYLOCOCCUS EPIDERMIDIS STRAINS ISOLATED FROM BIOMATERIALS
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The surface properties of bacteria play an important role on adhesion to the biomaterial surface. In this study, the surface properties of Stophylococcus epidermidis strains isolated from clinically used polymeric biornaterial surfaces were investigated on the basis of zeta potential, hydrophobicity and surface topography. A total of 10 S.epidermidis strains isolated from intravenous catheters (n= 5), enclotracheal tubes (n= 3) and central venous catheters (n= 2) which were used in the patients of pulmonary Intensive Care Unit, Ege University Medical Faculty Hospital, were included to the study. Seven of those isolates were biofilm producers, inhabiting biofilm genes, 2 were non-biofilm producers, however, inhabiting biofilm genes, and I was non-biofilm producer, inhabiting no biolilm genes. Zeta potential analysis have been performed in 3 different buffers (phosphate-buffered saline, 1 mM potassium chloride and 1 mM potassium phosphate buffer) and at different pH values (pH 4.1-8.2), in order to simulate in vivo environment of the bionnaterials. Hydrophobicities of the strains were examined by bacterial adhesion to hydrocarbon (BATH) test and the surface topography of biofilms and slime layers were visualized by atomic force microscopy (AFM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) methods. It was found that ail strains have negative zeta potential values (surface charge) in all buffers and pH values. In hydrophobicity analysis, the highest value (86%) was determined for non-biofilm forming S.epidermidis strain YT1 69b (endotracheal tube isolate) and the lowest hydrophobicity (2.5%) was determined for biofilm forming S.epidermidis strain YT-21 2 (central venous catheter isolate). Biofilrn and slime layers of the strains were imaginated by AFM and SEM analysis in prn scale. SEM analysis showed that bacteria highly adhered to rough surfaces on bionnaterial surfaces and the produced slime layers covered the surface of bacteria. In conclusion, elucidating the surface properties of opportunistic pathogens in different physiologic buffers will give important clues for the production of non-adhesive materials and antibacterial surfaces for those bacteria. It was also estimated that designing the surface of the bionnaterial to have negative surface charge in the body and to be as smooth as possible will hamper biofilm formation.