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Journal of Colloid and Interface Science



The nucleation of biofilms is known to be affected by both the chemistry and topography of the underlying substrate, particularly when topography includes nanoscale (nm) features. However, determining the role of topography vs. chemistry is complicated by concomitant variation in both as a result of typical surface modification techniques. Analyzing the behavior of biofilm-forming bacteria exposed to surfaces with systematic, independent variation of both topography and surface chemistry should allow differentiation of the two effects.


Silicon surfaces with reproducible nanotopography were created by anisotropic etching in deoxygenated water. Surface chemistry was varied independently to create hydrophilic (OH- terminated) and hydrophobic (alkyl-terminated) surfaces. The attachment and proliferation of Psuedomonas aeruginosa to these surfaces was characterized over a period of 12 hours using fluorescence and confocal microscopy.


The number of attached bacteria as well as the structural characteristics of the nucleating biofilm were influenced by both surface nanotopography and surface chemistry. In general terms, the presence of both nanoscale features and hydrophobic surface chemistry enhance bacterial attachment and colonization. However, the structural details of the resulting biofilms suggest that surface chemistry and topography interact differently on each of the four surface types we studied.


Biofilm nucleation, nanoscale, silicon, surface chemistry, surface topography, Pseudomonas aeruginosa



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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


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