Bacterial Density and Biofilm Structure Determined by Optical Coherence Tomography

Jiapeng Hou, Can Wang, René T Rozenbaum, Niar Gusnaniar, Ed D de Jong, Willem Woudstra, Gésinda I Geertsema-Doornbusch, Jelly Atema-Smit, Jelmer Sjollema, Yijin Ren, Henk J Busscher, Henny C van der Mei

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

43 Citaten (Scopus)
264 Downloads (Pure)


Optical-coherence-tomography (OCT) is a non-destructive tool for biofilm imaging, not requiring staining, and used to measure biofilm thickness and putative comparison of biofilm structure based on signal intensity distributions in OCT-images. Quantitative comparison of biofilm signal intensities in OCT-images, is difficult due to the auto-scaling applied in OCT-instruments to ensure optimal quality of individual images. Here, we developed a method to eliminate the influence of auto-scaling in order to allow quantitative comparison of biofilm densities in different images. Auto- and re-scaled signal intensities could be qualitatively interpreted in line with biofilm characteristics for single and multi-species biofilms of different strains and species (cocci and rod-shaped organisms), demonstrating qualitative validity of auto- and re-scaling analyses. However, specific features of pseudomonas and oral multi-species biofilms were more prominently expressed after re-scaling. Quantitative validation was obtained by relating average auto- and re-scaled signal intensities across biofilm images with volumetric-bacterial-densities in biofilms, independently obtained using enumeration of bacterial numbers per unit biofilm volume. The signal intensities in auto-scaled biofilm images did not significantly relate with volumetric-bacterial-densities, whereas re-scaled intensities in images of biofilms of widely different strains and species increased linearly with independently determined volumetric-bacterial-densities in the biofilms. Herewith, the proposed re-scaling of signal intensity distributions in OCT-images significantly enhances the possibilities of biofilm imaging using OCT.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)9794
Aantal pagina's12
TijdschriftScientific Reports
Nummer van het tijdschrift1
StatusPublished - 5-jul.-2019

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