The dissolvable bead: A novel in vitro biofilm model for evaluating antimicrobial resistance

G F Dall, Jerry Tsang, P J Gwynne, A J Wilkinson, A H R W Simpson, S J B Breusch, M P Gallagher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In vitro biofilm assays are a vital first step in the assessment of therapeutic effectiveness. Current biofilm models have been found to be limited by throughput, reproducibility, and cost. We present a novel in vitro biofilm model, utilising a sodium alginate substratum for surface biofilm colony formation, which can be readily dissolved for accurate evaluation of viable organisms. The dissolving bead biofilm assay was evaluated using a range of clinically relevant strains. The reproducibility and responsiveness of the assay to an antimicrobial challenge was assessed using standardised methods. Cryo-scanning electron microscopy was used to image biofilm colonies. Biofilms were grown for 20h prior to testing. The model provides a reproducible and responsive assay to clinically-relevant antimicrobial challenges, as defined by established guidelines. Moreover cryo-scanning electron microscopy demonstrates that biofilm formation is localised exclusively to the alginate bead surface. Our results suggest that this simple model provides a robust and adaptable assay for the investigation of bacterial biofilms.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of microbiological methods
Early online date17 Sep 2017
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017


  • Journal Article

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The dissolvable bead: A novel in vitro biofilm model for evaluating antimicrobial resistance'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this