We have demonstrated, with an in vitro model, that Staphylococcus epidermidis is able to colonise intraocular lenses. Adherent organisms were quantitated by light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and viable counting. Bacterial adherence was associated with production of a polysaccharide glycocalyx. Organisms which were attached to the lenses were resistant to apparently bactericidal concentrations of antibiotics, as determined by conventional testing. We speculate on the role of colonisation in the pathogenesis of endophthalmitis.