Due to the impact of biofilms in both public health and clinical settings, there has been extensive investigation into the area of biofilm inhibition by small peptide molecules. Currently, there remains a lack of efficient high throughput methods for assessing this inhibition. Many studies still rely on microtitre plate assays, which are laborious and prone to variation. This project aimed to utilise array based technologies as the basis for a high throughput method of assessing biofilm inhibition by small peptides.
In this proof of concept study, our lab used a number of peptides with established anti-biofilm activity. Peptides were printed onto chemically activated glass or polystyrene slides which were then used as a cover slide in a flow cell. An overnight liquid culture of P. aeruginosa was then used to inoculate the assembled flow cell. Following an overnight incubation, the cover slide was removed, washed, and crystal violet stained before being analysed using standard array scanning equipment and software.
The results obtained through this array method correlate with results obtained from traditional assays. Peptides with demonstrated anti-biofilm activities show a zone of clearing in the formed biofilm. Additional control spots exhibit no visible clearing. Peptides printed onto chemically activated polystyrene slides show similar results.
This preliminary work shows that array based technologies can be successfully applied to screening studies of biofilm inhibition. This will provide a more reliable and simple method for assessing the activity of a large number of antibiofilm agents.