Oral Biofilms Research Program

Main Objective

Development of in vitro and in situ “dental plaque – like” biofilms to understand their role in dental caries etiology and how the tridimensional structure and compositional changes of biofilms, in response to different environmental or treatment procedures, impacts on dental caries development.

Specific Goals

  • Development of confocal microscopy methodology able to study the tridimensional structure of oral biofilms.
  • Evaluation of the virulence of bacterial species, under distinct conditions of biofilm formation, and their responses to environmental challenges.
  • Evaluation of the effect of distinct conditions of biofilm formation on its metabolic pattern.
  • Evaluation of multispecies biofilm community in response to biofilm dynamics.
  • Development of in vitro and in situ models which mimic different clinical situations.
  • Test the effects of diverse anti-microbial interventions on biofilm formation.
  • Comparison of the biofilm composition of different sites in the mouth and as a response to different treatment products, and its relationship with caries formation and prevention.
  • Study the role that oral biofilm assessment has in dental caries risk assessment.

Program Director (Interim)

Dr. Domenick T. Zero


Dr. Masatoshi Ando
Dr. Anderson T. Hara
Dr. Frank Lippert

Relevant Publications

Giertsen E, Arthur RA, Guggenheim B. Effects of xylitol on survival of mutans streptococci in mixed-six-species in vitro biofilms modeling supragingival plaque. Caries Res 2010; 45(1): 31-39 

Papa AMCM, Tabchoury CPM, Del Bel Cury AA, Tenuta LMA, Arthur RA, Cury JA. Effect of milk and soy-based infant formulas on in situ demineralization of human primary enamel. Pediatric Dentistry 2010; 32: 389-394. 

Tabchoury CPM, Sousa MCKS, Arthur RA, Mattos-Graner RO, Del Bel Cury AA, Cury JA. Evaluation of genotypic diversity of Streptococcus mutans using distinct arbitrary primers. Journal of Applied Oral Sciences 2008; 16: 403-407. 

Arthur RA, Tabchoury CPM, Mattos-Graner RO, Del Bel Cury AA, Paes Leme AF, Vale GC, Cury JA. Genotypic diversity of Streptococcus mutans in dental biofilm formed in situ under sugar exposure. Brazilian Dental Journal 2007; 18: 185-191. 

Vale GC, Tabchoury CPM, Arthur RA, Del Bel Cury AA, Paes Leme AF, Cury JA. Temporal relationship between sucrose associated-changes in dental biofilm composition and enamel demineralization. Caries Research 2007; 41: 406-412. 

Arthur RA, Giancristofaro M, Tabchoury CPM, Cury JA. In vitro study of dose-response relationship of fluoride with dental enamel. Revista Odonto Ciencia 2007; 22: 10-15. 

Arthur RA, Giancristófaro M, Tabchoury CPM, Cury JA. Effect of preservatives on reactivity of fluoride with dental enamel. Revista Gaúcha de Odontologia 2007; 55: 375-379. 

Goncalves NC, Del Bel Cury AA, Simoes GS, Hara AT, Rosalen PL, Cury JA. Effect of xylitol:sorbitol on fluoride enamel demineralization reduction in situ. Journal of Dentistry 2006; 34: 662-667. 

Hara AT, Turssi CP, Ando M, González-Cabezas C, Zero DT, Rodrigues Jr AL, Serra MC, Cury JA. Influence of fluoride-releasing restorative material on root dentine secondary caries in situ. Caries Research 2006; 40: 435-439. 

Fontana M, Haider A, Gonzalez-Cabezas C (2005). Caries lesion development and biofilm composition responses to varying demineralization times and sucrose exposures. Biofilm (2005) 1, 229-237. 

Hara AT, Queiroz CS, Paes Leme AF, Serra MC, Cury JA. Caries progression and inhibition in human and bovine root dentine in situ. Caries Research 2003; 37: 339-344. 

Zero DT, Fu J, Anne KM, Cassata S, McCormack SM, Gwiiner LM. An improved intra-oral enamel demineralization test model for the study of dental caries. Journal of Dental Research 1992; 71:871-878 

McCormack SM, Maran CM, Scott-Anne KM, Zero DT. Comparison of cell sediment and surface grown “test plaque” using scanning electron microscopy. Scanning Microscopy 1995; 9:207-214.