An Alternative Approach to Investigate Biofilm in Medical Devices: A Feasibility Study

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2017 Dec 18;14(12):1587. doi: 10.3390/ijerph14121587.


Biofilms are assemblages of bacterial cells irreversibly associated with a surface where moisture is present. In particular, they retain a relevant impact on public health since through biofilms bacteria are able to survive and populate biomedical devices causing severe nosocomial infections that are generally resistant to antimicrobial agents. Therefore, controlling biofilm formation is a mandatory feature during medical device manufacturing and during their use. In this study, combining a crystal violet staining together with advanced stereomicroscopy, we report an alternative rapid protocol for both qualitative and semi-quantitative biofilm determination having high specificity, high repeatability, and low variability. The suggested approach represents a reliable and versatile method to detect, monitor, and measure biofilm colonization by an easy, more affordable, and reproducible method.

Keywords: bacteria; biofilm; crystal violet; medical device; stereomicroscopy.

MeSH terms

  • Bacteriological Techniques / methods*
  • Biofilms / growth & development*
  • Equipment and Supplies / microbiology*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Gentian Violet / chemistry
  • Microscopy / methods*


  • Gentian Violet