Impact of Nanoscale Roughness of Titanium Thin Film Surfaces on Bacterial Retention

Elena P. Ivanova, Vi Khanh Truong, James Y. Wang, Christopher C. Bemdt, Robert T. Jones, Iman I. Yusuf, Ian Peake, Heinrich W. Schmidt, Christopher Fluke, David Barnes, Russell J. Crawford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

152 Citations (Scopus)


Two human pathogenic bacteria, Staphylococcus aureus CIP 68.5 and Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC 9025, were adsorbed onto surfaces containing Ti. thin films of varying thickness to determine the extent to which nanoscale surface roughness influences the extent of bacterial attachment. A magnetron sputter thin film system was used to deposit titanium films with thicknesses of 3,12, and 150 nm on glass substrata with corresponding surface roughness parameters of Rq 1.6, 1.2, and 0.7 nm (on a 4 μm x 4 μm scanning area). The chemical composition, wettability, and surface architecture of titanium thin films were characterized using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, contact angle measurements, atomic force microscopy, three-dimensional interactive visualization, and statistical approximation of the topographic profiles. Investigation of the dynamic evolution of the Ti. thin film, topographic parameters indicated that three commonly used parameters, Ra. Rq, and Rmax, were insufficient to effectively characterize the nanoscale rough/smooth surfaces. Two additional parameters, Rskw and Rkur: which describe the statistical distributions of roughness character, were found to be useful for evaluating the surface architecture. Analysis of bacterial retention profiles indicated that bacteria responded, differently to the surfaces on a scale of less than 1 nm change in the Ra and Rq Ti thin film surface roughness parameters by (i) an increased, number of retained cells by a factor of 2-3, and (ii) an elevated level of secretion of extracellular polymeric substances.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1973-1982
Number of pages10
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2 Feb 2010
Externally publishedYes


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