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Simple observation of Streptococcus mutans biofilm scanning electron microscopy using ionic liquids by Various

Simple observation of Streptococcus mutans biofilm

scanning electron microscopy using ionic liquids by Various

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27 pages
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Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) has been successfully used to image biofilms because of its high resolution and magnification. However, conventional SEM requires dehydration and metal coating of biological samples before observation, and becauseMoreScanning electron microscopy (SEM) has been successfully used to image biofilms because of its high resolution and magnification. However, conventional SEM requires dehydration and metal coating of biological samples before observation, and because biofilms consist mainly of water, sample dehydration may influence the biofilm structure. When coated with an ionic liquid, which is a kind of salt that exists in the liquid state at room temperature, biological samples for SEM observation do not require dehydration or metal coating because ionic liquids do not evaporate under vacuum conditions and are electrically conductive. This study investigates the ability of ionic liquids to allow SEM observation of Streptococcus mutans biofilms compared with conventional coating methods. Two hydrophilic and two hydrophobic ionic liquids, all of which are electronic conductors, are used. Compared with samples prepared by the conventional method, the ionic-liquid-treated samples do not exhibit a fibrous extracellular matrix structure and cracking on the biofilm surface. The hydrophilic ionic liquids give clearer images of the biofilm structure than those of the hydrophobic ionic liquids. This study finds that ionic liquids are useful for allowing the observation of biofilms by SEM without preparation by dehydration and metal coating.