Phytosphingosine prevents the formation of young salivary biofilms in vitro

F.J. Bikker, M.A. Hoogenkamp, A. Malhaoui, K. Nazmi, J. Neilands, B.P. Krom

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Dental biofilms are formed in a multistep process that is initiated by the adhesion of oral bacteria to the dental hard surface. As dental biofilms are associated with oral diseases their control is necessary in order to maintain oral health. Recently, it was revealed that phytosphingosine (PHS)-treated hydroxyapatite discs showed anti-adhesive activity in a static in vitro biofilm model against Streptococcus mutans. The goal of the present study was to further unravel the anti-adhesive and anti-biofilm properties of PHS in both static and dynamic in vitro biofilm models against a full salivary inoculum. After 3 h under static conditions, bacterial adherence on PHS-treated cover glass slides was reduced by 60% compared to the untreated surface. After 6 and 24 h under static conditions, no significant differences in bacterial adherence were observed between PHS-treated and untreated cover glass slides. However, under dynamic conditions, i.e., the presence of shear forces, virtually no bacterial adherence was observed for up to 16 h on PHS-coated surfaces. Besides, PHS showed a strong bactericidal activity on salivary biofilms. Treatment of a 3- and 6-h statically grown biofilm resulted in a 99 and 94% reduction of viable cells, respectively, which was effectuated within minutes. In principle, these anti-adherence and anti-biofilm properties make PHS a promising candidate ingredient for use in oral care products aimed at oral microbial control.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-13
JournalCaries Research
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2018


The BioFlux Z1000 system was funded by a grant to B.P.K. from the Division for Earth and Life Sciences (ALW) with financial aid from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO). B.P.K. is supported by a grant from the University of Amsterdam for research into the focal point “Oral Infections and Inflammation.” The funders had no role in the study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

FundersFunder number
Division for Earth and Life Sciences
Universiteit van Amsterdam
Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek


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