Sustained effects of blue light on Streptococcus mutans in regrown biofilm

Julie Cohen-Berneron, Doron Steinberg, John D.B. Featherstone, Osnat Feuerstein*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


In prior studies, exposure of Streptococcus mutans in biofilm to blue light using high fluences of up to 680 J/cm2 did not interfere with bacterial capability to reform an initial biofilm; however, a delayed antibacterial effect was observed. Our aim was to determine the sustained effecttts of blue light-emitting diode (LED) curing light on the pathogenicity of the newly formed biofilm. S. mutans were grown to form biofilm that was exposed to blue light (wavelengths, 460–480 nm) for 1, 3, and 7 min (equivalent to 37, 112, and 262 J/cm2, respectively). Then, bacteria were suspended and allowed to regrow into new biofilms. The regrown biofilms were assessed for bacterial quantification by optical density (OD) measurement and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), bacterial viability and extracellular polysaccharide production by fluorescent staining using confocal scanning laser microscopy, acid production by bacteria (acidogenicity), and bacterial survival at low pH (aciduricity) using qPCR. Bacterial growth in the regrown biofilms was increased when samples were previously exposed to light; however, under the confocal microscopy, a higher proportion of dead bacteria and a reduction in polysaccharide production were observed. The acidogenicity from the regrown biofilm was lowered as fluences of light increased. The aciduricity of the regrown biofilm was decreased, meaning less growth of bacteria into biofilm in low pH with increasing fluences. Blue light has sustained effects on S. mutans bacteria grown into new biofilm. Although bacterial growth in biofilm increased, bacterial viability and virulence characteristics were impaired. The cariogenic potential over time of S. mutans previously exposed to blue light when grown on tooth surfaces is yet to be determined.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)445-452
Number of pages8
JournalLasers in Medical Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the US-Israel Binational Scientific Foundation (BSF) grant (number 2013445).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, Springer-Verlag London.


  • Acid production
  • Antibacterial effect
  • Caries
  • Extracellular polysaccharide
  • Virulence factors
  • Visible light


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