An easy and economical in vitro method for the formation of Candida albicans biofilms under continuous conditions of flow

Virulence. Nov-Dec 2010;1(6):483-7. doi: 10.4161/viru.1.6.13186. Epub 2010 Nov 1.


Candida albicans can develop biofilms on medical devices and these biofilms are most often nourished by a continuous flow of body fluids and subjected to shear stress forces. While many C. albicans biofilm studies have been carried out using in vitro static models, more limited information is available for biofilms developed under conditions of flow. We have previously described a simple flow biofilm model (SFB) for the development of C. albicans biofilms under conditions of continuous media flow. Here, we recount in detail from a methodological perspective, this model that can be assembled easily using materials commonly available in most microbiological laboratories. The entire procedure takes approximately two days to complete. Biofilms developed using this system are robust, and particularly suitable for studies requiring large amounts of biofilm cells for downstream analyses. This methodology simplifies biofilm formation under continuous replenishment of nutrients. Moreover, this technique mimics in vivo flow conditions, thereby making it physiologically more relevant than the currently dominant static models.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biofilms / growth & development*
  • Candida albicans / physiology*
  • Catheters, Indwelling / microbiology
  • Cell Adhesion*
  • Prostheses and Implants / microbiology
  • Stress, Mechanical
  • Stress, Physiological
  • Surgical Equipment / microbiology