Int J Biol Sci 2021; 17(7):1769-1781. doi:10.7150/ijbs.59025 This issue

Research Paper

Biological and Physiochemical Methods of Biofilm Adhesion Resistance Control of Medical-Context Surface

Yuanzhe Li1, Xiang Li2, Yu Hao2, Yang Liu1,3, ZhiLi Dong1✉, Kexin Li4

1. School of Materials Science & Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, 639798, Singapore.
2. School of Chemistry and Biomolecules Engineering, National University of Singapore, Singapore, 637551, Singapore.
3. School of Mechanical Engineering, Xiangtan University, Xiangtan, 411105, China.
4. Hwa Chong International School, Singapore, 269783, Singapore.

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Li Y, Li X, Hao Y, Liu Y, Dong Z, Li K. Biological and Physiochemical Methods of Biofilm Adhesion Resistance Control of Medical-Context Surface. Int J Biol Sci 2021; 17(7):1769-1781. doi:10.7150/ijbs.59025. Available from

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Graphic abstract

The formation of biofilms on medical-context surfaces gives the EPS embedded bacterial community protection and additional advantages that planktonic cells would not have such as increased antibiotic resistance and horizontal gene transfer. Bacterial cells tend to attach to a conditioning layer after overcoming possible electrical barriers and go through two phases of attachments: reversible and irreversible. In the first, bacterial attachment to the surface is reversible and occurs quickly whilst the latter is permanent and takes place over a longer period of time. Upon reaching a certain density in the bacterial community, quorum sensing causes phenotypical changes leading to a loss in motility and the production of EPS. This position paper seeks to address the problem of bacterial adhesion and biofilm formation for the medical surfaces by comparing inhabiting physicochemical interactions and biological mechanisms. Several physiochemical methodologies (e.g. ultrasonication, alternating magnetic field and chemical surface coating) and utilizing biological mechanisms (e.g. quorum quenching and EPS degrading enzymes) were suggested. The possible strategical applications of each category were suggested and evaluated to a balanced position to possibly eliminate the adhesion and formation of biofilms on medical-context surfaces.

Keywords: Biofilms adhesion, Medical-context surface, Biological methods, Physicochemical methods, Resistance control.