Staphylococcus epidermidis biofilm on implant material is reduced by a covalently linked thiophenone

J Appl Microbiol. 2016 Aug;121(2):547-53. doi: 10.1111/jam.13188.


Aims: The present aims were firstly to coat metal implant material with a quorum sensing inhibitory thiophenone molecule, and secondly to assess the inhibitory effect on Staphylococcus epidermidis biofilm accumulation on thiophenone-coated coupons.

Method and results: Thiophenone- and control-coated metal coupons were prepared by silane hydrolysis and dip coating. The linking of thiophenone to the surface was confirmed by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analyses. Biofilm by Staph. epidermidis, a frequent cause of implant-associated infections, was allowed to form under flowing conditions for 48 h. The biofilm accumulations were significantly reduced on the thiophenone-coated coupons. This was confirmed by confocal scanning microscopy.

Conclusion: This study showed for the first time how a synthetic thiophenone may be covalently linked to a stainless steel surface, and that biofilm accumulations on such surfaces are significantly reduced.

Significance and impact of the study: Functionalizing surfaces by covalent linking of thiophenones might open a wide array of applications. Thiophenone coating of medical implants represents a novel and promising approach to prevent implant-associated infections.

Keywords: Staphylococcus epidermidis; X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy; biofilm; confocal microscopy; covalent linking; quorum sensing; thiophenone.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Biocompatible Materials / chemistry*
  • Biofilms / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Prostheses and Implants / microbiology*
  • Prosthesis-Related Infections / microbiology
  • Prosthesis-Related Infections / prevention & control*
  • Quorum Sensing / drug effects
  • Stainless Steel
  • Staphylococcal Infections / microbiology
  • Staphylococcal Infections / prevention & control*
  • Staphylococcus epidermidis / drug effects*
  • Staphylococcus epidermidis / physiology
  • Thiophenes / pharmacology*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Thiophenes
  • Stainless Steel