The proliferation assay
If materials are antimicrobial, this means that any adhering microorganisms are killed. Dead microorganisms can no longer multiply.
In the proliferation assay, microorganisms are applied directly to the test objects and after a complex, but rapid, high throughput procedure, a test is carried out to determine whether adhering microorganisms are still capable of multiplying.
If growth is prevented by the special properties of the material, the material is described as having an antimicrobial effect.
The method was published in “Nature Medicine”: Bechert et al., Nature Medicine 6, 1053-1056 (2000)