Eastman Dental Institute


Early Adhesion of Candida albicans onto Dental Acrylic Surfaces

23 May 2017

Sebastian Aguayo, Helina Marshall, Jonathan Pratten, David Bradshaw, Jeremy Brown, Stephen Porter, Dave Spratt, Laurent Bozec

Journal of Dental Research

Despite significant advances in research, denture-related stomatitis continues to affect a significant number of patients in the clinic. This process is associated with denture surface infection with Candida albicans, and therefore understanding the Candida-denture interaction could potentially aid in the search of novel ways to control this disease.

In this study we utilised an advanced microscopy technique – atomic force microscopy (AFM) – to study the attachment of living Candida albicans to acrylic surfaces at the single-cell level. We had previously utilised a similar approach to study bacterial cell adhesion onto implant surfaces, but in the case of Candida it was necessary to modify our existing protocol.

We found that hyphal differentiation of Candida promotes early attachment to acrylic surfaces. We also found a potential correlation between strain virulence and adhesion at the single-cell level. Our observations demonstrate that Candida adhesion to biomaterials is a dynamic process that is mediated by the contact time between cell and surface, and by the characteristics of each particular strain. Most importantly, this work demonstrates that techniques such as AFM can be very useful to study biofilm formation at its very early stages, and potentially be used to explore novel antibacterial and antiadhesive approaches to fungal infection that could be useful in clinic.

As this developed AFM methodology is very customisable – it can be used with hard dental surfaces, soft tissues, dental materials, etc - we are planning on utilising it to explore other important topics for dental research such as mechanics of dental biofilms and collagen diseases that might impact oral health.

This work was sponsored by GSK Oral Health.

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