Microbial biofilms on facial prostheses

Nina Ariani, Arjan Vissink, Robert P. van Oort, Lindawati Kusdhany, Ariadna Djais, Tri Budi W. Rahardjo, Henny C. van der Mei, Bastiaan P. Krom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


The composition of microbial biofilms on silicone rubber facial prostheses was investigated and compared with the microbial flora on healthy and prosthesis-covered skin. Scanning electron microscopy showed the presence of mixed bacterial and yeast biofilms on and deterioration of the surface of the prostheses. Microbial culturing confirmed the presence of yeasts and bacteria. Microbial colonization was significantly increased on prosthesis-covered skin compared to healthy skin. Candida spp. were exclusively isolated from prosthesis-covered skin and from prostheses. Biofilms from prostheses showed the least diverse band-profile in denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) whereas prosthesis-covered skin showed the most diverse band-profile. Bacterial diversity exceeded yeast diversity in all samples. It is concluded that occlusion of the skin by prostheses creates a favorable niche for opportunistic pathogens such as Candida spp. and Staphylococcus aureus. Biofilms on healthy skin, skin underneath the prosthesis and on the prosthesis had a comparable composition, but the numbers present differed according to the microorganism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)583-591
Number of pages9
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012


  • facial prosthesis
  • microbial biofilms
  • microbial composition
  • silicone rubber degradation


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