Objective: This study evaluated the feasibility of a high frequency ultrasound scan to examine the 3D morphology of Streptococcus mutans biofilms grown in vitro. Methods: Six 2-day S. mutans biofilms and six 7-day biofilms were grown on tissue culture membranes and on bovine dentine discs. A sterile growth medium on the membrane and disc were used as controls. Surfaces were rinsed and then immersed in sterile saline. High-frequency ultrasound imaging system was used to scan these surfaces at 55 MHz, and a computer program calculated the average thickness of the biofilm layer from the 3D images. Results: 3D pictures of the biofilm layers were obtained. Different cross-sections and plains are easily demonstrated. The average thickness of the 7-day biofilm was significantly bigger than the 2-day on both the membranes and dentinal discs. No structures were observed on the sterile membrane or disc. Conclusion: Three-dimensional structural imaging in situ is possible without damaging the biofilm layer in a quick and easy manner and can therefore be used to evaluate biofilms longitudinally as a function of time.

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Keywords 3D, Biofilm, Imaging, Ultrasound
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jdent.2007.05.007, hdl.handle.net/1765/36047
Shemesh, H, Goertz, D.E, Van der Sluis, L.W.M, de Jong, N, Wu, M.K, & Wesselink, P.R. (2007). High frequency ultrasound imaging of a single-species biofilm. Journal of Dentistry, 35(8), 673–678. doi:10.1016/j.jdent.2007.05.007