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URA Archive
Scholars 2009 - 2010

Hananh Wilson

Hannah Wilson, Biochemical Engineering
“Investigating Staphylococcus aureus Biofilm Response to Biofilm Growth Enhancers and Inhibitors”
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Julia Ross
Expected Graduation Date: May 2010

Staphylococcus aureus infection poses a serious public health threat in both healthcare and community settings. Persistent infection results from the formation of bacterial biofilms, which allow evasion from the host immune response and antibiotic treatment. Biofilms may grow under a wide range of nutrient conditions in the vasculature; thus isolating the effect of nutrient concentration on biofilm growth will help elucidate the process of S. aureus biofilm formation. This study aims to quantify static biofilm formation of Staphylococcus aureus under various nutrient conditions. Overall, the study will analyze the effect of nutrient concentration and the addition of various chemicals purported to either enhance or prevent biofilm growth. First, I will study the effect of nutrient concentration on biofilm growth by varying the concentration of the media, tryptic soy broth. Next, I will analyze the effect of the addition of glucose, sodium metaperiodate (INaO4) and surfactants to the growth media. Glucose has been shown to enhance biofilm growth, while INaO4 and surfactants have been shown to detach biofilms to their associated surfaces. By measuring the amount of biofilm growth under these various conditions, I will determine which, if any, of these conditions have a measurable effect on S. aureus biofilm growth. Ultimately, this understanding could lead to new therapeutic strategies for the treatment of S. aureus infections.