Skip navigation
Scholarly Communication

Determining the spatial distribution of viable and nonviable bacteria in hydrated microcosm dental plaques by viability profiling

Hope, C.K.; Clements, D. and Wilson, M. (2002) Determining the spatial distribution of viable and nonviable bacteria in hydrated microcosm dental plaques by viability profiling. Journal of Applied Microbiology, 93 (3). pp. 448-455. ISSN 1365-2672 (Online); 1364-5072 (Print)


Official URL:

Cited 33 times in WoS


Aims. The aim of this study was to use confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) to examine the spatial distribution of both viable and non-viable bacteria within microcosm dental plaques grown in vitro. Previous in vivo studies have reported upon the distribution of viable bacteria only. Methods and Results. Oral biofilms were grown on hydroxyapatite (HA) discs in a constant-depth film fermenter (CDFF) from a saliva inoculum. The biofilms were stained with the BacLightTM LIVE/DEAD system and examined by CLSM. Fluorescence intensity profiles through the depth of the biofilm showed an offset between the maximum viable intensity and the maximum non-viable intensity. Topographical differences between the surface properties of the viable and non-viable biofilm virtual surfaces were also measured Conclusions. The profile of fluorescence intensity from viable and non-viable staining suggested that the upper layers of the biofilm contain proportionally more viable bacteria than the lower regions of the biofilm. Significance and Impact of Study. Viability profiling records the transition from predominantly viable to non-viable bacteria through biofilms suggesting that this technique may be of use for quantifying the effects of antimicrobial compounds upon biofilms. The distribution of viable bacteria was similar to that found in dental plaque in vivo suggesting that the CDFF produces in vitro biofilms which are comparable to their in vivo counterparts in terms of the spatial distribution of viable bacteria.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Issue date: September 2002
Subjects:R Medicine > RK Dentistry
Q Science > QR Microbiology
Departments, Research Centres and Related Units:Academic Faculties, Institutes and Research Centres > Faculty of Medicine > School of Dental Sciences
Publisher's Statement:The definitive version is available at
ID Code:67
Deposited On:11 Apr 2008 16:43
Last Modified:20 May 2011 19:52

Repository Staff Only: item control page


Full text only
Peer reviewed only

Cross Archive Search
Top 50 authors
Top 50 items
[more statistics]

These pages are maintained by Library Staff @ University of Liverpool Library


All pages © The University of Liverpool, 2004 | Disclaimer | Accessibility | Staff | Students