Using the Fluxion Bioflux 200 to Study Yeast Cell Adherence and Biofilm Formation in Candida albicans


Jonathan Sewel Finkel, PhD
University of Detroit  Mercy


Candida albicans is the major fungal pathogen of humans. Fungal infections result in increased morbidity, and mortality. C. albicans infection is correlated with their ability to grow as biofilms on implanted devices. Use of implanted devices, such as venous catheters, pacemakers, and artificial joints, is routine and provides a substantial health benefit, are nonetheless associated with infection rates as high as 30%. These infections are caused or maintained by biofilms that form on device surfaces. My research focuses on C. albicans biofilm formation, particularly how yeast cell-to-substrate (medically implanted device) adherence contributes to biofilm formation and pathogenicity. My research concentrates on identifying genes that regulate yeast cell-to-substrate adherence, and how adherence regulates biofilm formation. To study this initial step in biofilm formation, I developed a novel adherence assay and identified thirty adherence regulators, one of the largest number of regulators found to date for any biological process in C. albicans. After this study I was able to use the Bioflux 200 to study adherence in 5 different Candida species, and 6 trichosporon species. In a study of cystic fibrosis patient’s lung fungi, we were able to identify that adherence for Candida dubliniensis patient samples had statistically increased rate of adherence compared to Candida albicans patient samples. This result indicates that the increased presence of C. dubliniensis compared to C. albicans in the lower airways of CF patients may be related to increased adherence properties.

In this webinar I will address and demonstrate the different ways that the Bioflux 200 can be used to study a variety of pathogenic fungi to better understand the mechanisms of adherence in each species. In addition, I will demonstrate that it can be used to uncover determinates of biofilm formation through the examination of immature biofilms.