BioChip Journal

, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 179–186 | Cite as

Inhibitory effects of green tea polyphenol epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) on exopolysaccharide production by Streptococcus mutans under microfluidic conditions

  • Wahhida Shumi
  • Md. Aktar Hossain
  • Dong-June Park
  • Sungsu ParkEmail author
Original Article


Plaque-forming microorganisms produce insoluble exopolysaccharide (EPS), which allows the microorganisms to attach strongly to the tooth surface. Then, they start forming biofilm, which is responsible for plaque formation. The green tea polyphenol epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is known to inhibit biofilm formation of oral bacteria. However, its inhibitory effects on biofilm formation between the teeth have not been well studied due to the lack of devices that mimic the space between the teeth. In this study, we used a microfluidic device packed with glass beads (250–300 µm in diameter) to mimic the small cavities between the teeth in order to test the inhibitory effects of EGCG on the biofilm formation of Streptococcus mutans, one of the plaque-forming microorganisms. EPS production by S. mutans was more effectively inhibited by EGCG in the microfluidic device, compared to on agar plates, suggesting that it is more effective against biofilm formation by S. mutans cells under flow conditions than under non-flow conditions, such as conditions achieved by agar plates. These results suggest that our microfluidic device may be highly useful for studying the actual effects of antimicrobial compounds against plaqueforming microorganisms.


EGCG Streptococcus mutans Biofilm EPS Microfluidic device 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Hope C.K., Petrie A. & Wilson M. Efficacy of removal of sucrose-supplemented interproximal plaque by electric toothbrushes in an in vitro model. App. Env. Microbiol. 71, 1114–1116 (2005).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Yankell S.L., Xiuren S. & Emling R.C. Efficacy and safety of brushpicks, a new cleaning aid, compared to the use of Glide floss. J. Clinic. Dentis. 13, 125–129 (2002).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Sutherland I.W. Biofilm exopolysaccharides: a strong and sticky framework. Microbiology 147, 3–9 (2001).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Xavier J.B. & Foster K.R. Cooperation and conflict in microbial biofilms. PNAS 104, 876–881 (2007).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Donlan R.M. & Costerton J.W. Survival mechanisms of clinically relevant microorganisms. Clin. Microbiol. Revs. 15, 167–193 (2002).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Tam K. et al. Real-time monitoring of Streptococcus mutans biofilm formation using a quartz crystal microbalance. Caries Res. 41, 474–483 (2007).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Thomas J.G. & Nakaishi L.A. Managing the complexity of a dynamic biofilm. JADA 137, 10S–15S (2006).Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Matsuyama J., Sato T., Hoshino E., Noda T. & Takahashi N. Fermentation of five sucrose isomers by human dental plaque bacteria. Caries Res. 37, 410–415 (2003).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Singleton S. et al. Methods for microscopic characterization of oral biofilms: Analysis of colonization, microstructure, and molecular transport phenomena. Adv. Dent. Res. 11, 133–149 (1997).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Sauer K., Rickard A.H. & Davies D.G. Biofilms and Biocomplexity. Microbe 2, 347–353 (2007).Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Lemos J.A.C., Abranches J. & Burne R.A. Responses of cariogenic Streptococci to environmental stresses. Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. 7, 95–108 (2005).Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Bowen W.H. Do we need to be concerned about dental caries in the coming millennium? Crit. Rev. Oral Biol. Med. 13, 126–131 (2002).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Marsh P.D. Are dental diseases examples of ecological catastrophes? Microbiology 149, 279–294 (2003).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Kociolek M.G. Quorum-Sensing Inhibitors and Biofilms. Anti-Infective Agents in Medicinal Chemistry 8, 315–326 (2009).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Davies D. Understanding biofilm resistance to antibacterial agents. Nat. Rev. Drug Discov. 2, 114–122 (2003).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Hall-Stoodley L., Costerton J.W. & Stoodley P. Bacterial biofilms: from the natural environment to infectious diseases. Nat. Rev. Microbiol. 2, 95–108 (2004).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Busscher H.J. & van der Mei H.C. Microbial Adhesion in Flow Displacement Systems. Clin. Microbiol. Rev. 19, 127–141 (2006).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Shumi W. et al. Fluorescence imaging of the spatial distribution of ferric ions over biofilms formed by Streptococcus mutans under microfluidic conditions. BioChip J. 3, 119–124 (2009).Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Shumi W. et al. Environmental factors that affect Streptococcus mutans biofilm formation in a microfluidic device mimicking teeth. BioChip J. 4, 257–263 (2010).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Shumi W. et al. Shear stress tolerance of Streptococcus mutans aggregates determined by microfluidic funnel device (µFFD). Journal of Microbiological Methods 93, 85–89 (2013).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Xu X., Zhou X.D. & Wu C.D. The tea catechin epigallocatechin gallate suppresses cariogenic virulence factors of Streptococcus mutans. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 55, 1229–1236 (2011).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Wu C.D. & Wei G.X. Tea as a functional food for oral health. Nutrition 18, 443–444 (2002).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Cui Y. et al. AFM study of the differential inhibitory effects of the green tea polyphenol(-)-epigallocatechin- 3-gallate (EGCG) against Gram-positiveand Gramnegative bacteria. Food Microbiol. 29, 80–87 (2012).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Koo H. et al. Inhibition of Streptococcus mutans biofilm accumulation and polysaccharide production by apigenin and tt-farnesol. J. Antimicrobial Chemother. 52, 782–789 (2003).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Lim J. et al. Nanoscale characterization of Escherichia coli biofilm formed under laminar flow using atomic force microscopy (AFM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Bulletin of Korean Chemical Society 29, 2114–2118 (2008).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Liu T. & Chi Y. Experimental study on polyphenol anti-plaque effect in human. Zhonghua Kou Qiang Yi Xue Za Zhi 35, 383–384 (2000).Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Yanagawa Y., Yamamoto Y., Hara Y. & Shimamura T. A combination effect of epigallocatechin gallate, a major compound of green tea catechins, with antibiotics on Helicobacter pylori growth in vitro. Curr. Microbiol. 47, 244–249 (2003).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Oh Y.J., Lee N.R., Jo W., Jung W.K. & Lim J.S. Effects of substrates on biofilm formation observed by atomic force microscopy. Ultramicroscopy 109, 874–880 (2009).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Wei G.X., Xu X. & Wu C.D. In vitro synergism between berberine and miconazole against planktonic and biofilm Candida cultures. Arch Oral Biol. 56(6), 565–572 (2011).CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Korean BioChip Society and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wahhida Shumi
    • 1
  • Md. Aktar Hossain
    • 2
    • 3
  • Dong-June Park
    • 4
  • Sungsu Park
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of MicrobiologyUniversity of ChittagongChittagongBangladesh
  2. 2.Institute of Forestry and Environmental SciencesUniversity of ChittagongChittagongBangladesh
  3. 3.Faculty of ForestryUniversiti Putra MalaysiaSerdang, SelangorMalaysia
  4. 4.Korea Food Research InstituteSeongnamKorea
  5. 5.The School of Mechanical EngineeringSungkyunkwan UniversitySuwonKorea

Personalised recommendations