Race for the Surface: Eukaryotic Cells Can Win

Vy T.H. Pham, Vi Khanh Truong, Anna Orlowska, Shahram Ghanaati, Mike Barbeck, Patrick Booms, Alex J. Fulcher, Chris M. Bhadra, Ričardas Buividas, Vladimir Baulin, C. James Kirkpatrick, Pauline Doran, David E. Mainwaring, Saulius Juodkazis, Russell J. Crawford, Elena P. Ivanova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Citations (Scopus)


With an aging population and the consequent increasing use of medical implants, managing the possible infections arising from implant surgery remains a global challenge. Here, we demonstrate for the first time that a precise nanotopology provides an effective intervention in bacterial cocolonization enabling the proliferation of eukaryotic cells on a substratum surface, preinfected by both live Gram-negative, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Gram-positive, Staphylococcus aureus, pathogenic bacteria. The topology of the model black silicon (bSi) substratum not only favors the proliferation of eukaryotic cells but is biocompatible, not triggering an inflammatory response in the host. The attachment behavior and development of filopodia when COS-7 fibroblast cells are placed in contact with the bSi surface are demonstrated in the dynamic study, which is based on the use of real-time sequential confocal imaging. Bactericidal nanotopology may enhance the prospect for further development of inherently responsive antibacterial nanomaterials for bionic applications such as prosthetics and implants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22025-22031
Number of pages7
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number34
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • bactericidal surfaces
  • competitive colonization
  • inflammatory response
  • microbial contamination
  • nanostructures


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