Tuning antimicrobial properties of biomimetic nanopatterned surfaces

Martyna Michalska, Francesca Gambacorta, Ralu Divan, Igor S. Aranson, Andrey Sokolov, Philippe Noirot, Philip D. Laible

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations


Nature has amassed an impressive array of structures that afford protection from microbial colonization/infection when displayed on the exterior surfaces of organisms. Here, controlled variation of the features of mimetics derived from etched silicon allows for tuning of their antimicrobial efficacy. Materials with nanopillars up to 7 μm in length are extremely effective against a wide range of microbial species and exceed the performance of natural surfaces; in contrast, materials with shorter/blunter nanopillars (<2 μm) selectively killed specific species. Using a combination of microscopies, the mechanisms by which bacteria are killed are demonstrated, emphasizing the dependence upon pillar density and tip geometry. Additionally, real-time imaging reveals how cells are immobilized and killed rapidly. Generic or selective protection from microbial colonization could be conferred to surfaces [for, e.g., internal medicine, implants (joint, dental, and cosmetic), food preparation, and the agricultural industry] patterned with these materials as coatings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6639-6650
Number of pages12
Issue number14
StatePublished - Apr 14 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science


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