Control of bacterial adhesion and growth on honeycomb-like patterned surfaces

Meng Yang, Ding Yonghui, Xiang Ge, Yang Leng*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


It is a great challenge to construct a persistent bacteria-resistant surface even though it has been demonstrated that several surface features might be used to control bacterial behavior, including surface topography. In this study, we develop micro-scale honeycomb-like patterns of different sizes (0.5-10. μm) as well as a flat area as the control on a single platform to evaluate the bacterial adhesion and growth. Bacteria strains, Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus with two distinct shapes (rod and sphere) are cultured on the platforms, with the patterned surface-up and surface-down in the culture medium. The results demonstrate that the 1. μm patterns remarkably reduce bacterial adhesion and growth while suppressing bacterial colonization when compared to the flat surface. The selective adhesion of the bacterial cells on the patterns reveals that the bacterial adhesion is cooperatively mediated by maximizing the cell-substrate contact area and minimizing the cell deformation, from a thermodynamic point of view. Moreover, study of bacterial behaviors on the surface-up vs. surface-down samples shows that gravity does not apparently affect the spatial distribution of the adherent cells although it indeed facilitates bacterial adhesion. Furthermore, the experimental results suggest that two major factors, i.e. the availability of energetically favorable adhesion sites and the physical confinements, contribute to the anti-bacterial nature of the honeycomb-like patterns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)549-555
Number of pages7
JournalColloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015


  • Bacteria-resistant
  • Honeycomb-like pattern
  • Surface topography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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