eCM (Eur Cell Mater / e Cells & Materials) Not-for-profit Open Access
Created by Scientists, for Scientists
 ISSN:1473-2262         NLM:100973416 (link)         DOI:10.22203/eCM

2013   Volume No 25 – pages 159-166

Title: Biofilm formation by staphylococci on fresh, fresh-frozen and processed human and bovine bone grafts

Author: M Clauss, U Furustrand Tafin, A Bizzini, A Trampuz, T Ilchmann

Address: Clinic for Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery, Kantonsspital Baselland Liestal, Rheinstrasse 26, CH-4410 Liestal, Switzerland

E-mail: martin.clauss at

Key Words: Biofilms; Staphylococcus aureus; bone grafts; bacterial colonies.

Publication date: January 30th 2013

Abstract: Biofilm formation is a multi-step process influenced by surface properties. We investigated early and mature biofilm of Staphylococcus aureus on 4 different biological calcium phosphate (CaP) bone grafts used for filling bone defects. We investigated standardised cylinders of fresh and fresh-frozen human bone grafts were harvested from femoral heads; processed humanand bovine bone grafts were obtained preformed. Biofilm formation was done in tryptic soy broth (TSB) using S. aureus (ATCC 29213) with static conditions. Biofilm density after 3 h (early biofilm) and 24 h (mature biofilm) was investigated by sonication and microcalorimetry. After 3 h, bacterial density was highest on fresh-frozenandfresh bone grafts. After 24 h, biofilm density was lowest on freshbone grafts (p < 0.001) compared to the other 3 materials, which did not differ quantitatively (p > 0.05). The lowest increase in bacterial density was detected on fresh bone grafts (p < 0.001). Despite normal shaped colonies, we found additional small colonies on the surface of the fresh and fresh-frozen samples by sonication. This was also apparent in microcalorimetric heat-flow curves. The four investigated CaP bone grafts showed minor structural differences in architecture but marked differences concerning serum coverage and the content of bone marrow, fibrous tissue and bone cells. These variations resulted in a decreased biofilm density on freshand fresh-frozenbone grafts after 24 h, despite an increased early biofilm formation and might also be responsible for the variations in colony morphology (small colonies). Detection of small colony variants by microcalorimetry might be a new approach to improve the understanding of biofilm formation.

Article download: Pages 159-166 (PDF file)
DOI: 10.22203/eCM.v025a11