Monitoring the Formation and Removal of Biofilms From Clinically Relevant Pathogens in Real-Time

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Spanish scientists demonstrate that the growth and destruction of medically important bacterial biofilms can be quantitatively monitored in real-time using the xCELLigence technology from ACEA Biosciences.

A large percentage of bacterial species are capable of growing on biotic and abiotic surfaces. Within these surfaced-adhered communities secreted signaling molecules are used to coordinate gene expression across the entire colony, thereby promoting survival. An adaptation commonly found within these colonies is the production of biofilm, a secreted extracellular polymeric matrix that can be comprised of polysaccharides, nucleic acids, proteins, lipids, and/or teichoic acids. This extracellular matrix increases bacterial virulence by acting as a physical barrier that both occludes antibiotic molecules and helps the bacteria to evade detection by immune cells. Bacterial biofilms are of great importance to human health, causing dental plaque and caries, chronic infections, food poisoning, and rejection of implants. Despite the growing prevalence of biofilm infections, the existing arsenal of antibiotics for treating them is limited.

The traditional methods for identifying and studying compounds that can eliminate biofilms, or prevent their formation in the first place, are inefficient colorimetric end point assays. In an effort to establish a more efficient, more information-rich biofilm assay Dr. Alex Mira and coworkers at the Centre for Advanced Research in Public Health (Spain) recently utilized xCELLigence Real-Time Cell Analysis. This work, published in the December 8 issue of the Journal of Applied Microbiology, focused on clinical isolates of Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis. Evaluating the impact of 10 different antibiotics on biofilm growth by these two species, Mira’s team demonstrated that some drugs could both suppress or promote biofilm formation depending on their concentration, highlighting the necessity of tightly controlling and monitoring drug concentrations during clinical treatment. On the basis of the above results the authors concluded that xCELLigence assays “revealed features that would pass unnoticed by endpoint methods.”

Beyond preventing biofilm formation, being able to treat biofilms once they have already formed is a clinical necessity. Towards this end, using the xCELLigence assay the researchers demonstrated that the drug cloxacillin is effective at disrupting established biofilms of S. epidermidis. Collectively, the work of Mira and coworkers establishes the efficacy of xCELLigence Real-Time Cell Analysis assays for both basic and applied research in the area of biofilms. Click here to view their complete publication.

Learn more about xCELLigence RTCA, and how it is being used for diverse applications.

About xCELLigence®
ACEA’s xCELLigence® Real Time Cell Analysis (RTCA) instruments utilize gold microelectrodes embedded in the bottom of microtiter wells to non-invasively monitor the status of adherent cells using the principle of cellular impedance. In short, cells act as insulators – impeding the flow of an alternating microampere electric current between electrodes. This impedance signal is measured automatically, at an interval defined by the user (e.g. every 10 seconds, once per hour, etc.), and provides an extremely sensitive readout of cell number, cell size/shape, and cell-substrate attachment strength.

About ACEA Biosciences
Founded in 2002, ACEA Biosciences is a pioneer in the development and commercialization of high performance, cutting edge cell analysis platforms for life science research. ACEA’s xCELLigence® impedance-based, label-free, real-time cell analysis instruments and NovoCyte® flow cytometer are used in pre-clinical drug discovery and development, toxicology, safety pharmacology, and basic academic research. More than 2,000 instruments have been placed globally, leading to >1,250 peer reviewed publications.

For more information, click here.

For further information please contact:                                                                                    
ACEA Biosciences, Inc.                                                                                                                
Dr. Jeff Xue                                                                                                                                    
Phone: +1 858 724 0928 x 3075                                                                                                
email: jxue(at)aceabio(dot)com

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Jeff Xue, Ph.D.
ACEA Biosciences, Inc.
+1 8587240928 Ext: 3075
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