Air-directed attachment of coccoid bacteria to the surface of superhydrophobic lotus-like titanium

V. K. Truong, H. K. Webb, E. Fadeeva, B. N. Chichkov, A. H.F. Wu, R. Lamb, J. Y. Wang, R. J. Crawford, E. P. Ivanova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

126 Citations (Scopus)


Superhydrophobic titanium surfaces fabricated by femtosecond laser ablation to mimic the structure of lotus leaves were assessed for their ability to retain coccoid bacteria. Staphylococcus aureus CIP 65.8T, S. aureus ATCC 25923, S. epidermidis ATCC 14990T and Planococcus maritimus KMM 3738 were retained by the surface, to varying degrees. However, each strain was found to preferentially attach to the crevices located between the microscale surface features. The upper regions of the microscale features remained essentially cell-free. It was hypothesised that air entrapped by the topographical features inhibited contact between the cells and the titanium substratum. Synchrotron SAXS revealed that even after immersion for 50 min, nano-sized air bubbles covered 45% of the titanium surface. After 1 h the number of cells of S. aureus CIP 65.8T attached to the lotus-like titanium increased to 1.27 × 105mm-2, coinciding with the replacement of trapped air by the incubation medium.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)539-550
Number of pages12
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • coccoid bacteria
  • femtosecond laser ablation
  • microtopography and nanotopography
  • superhydrophobic titanium surfaces


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