Microbial biofilm formation on indwelling medical devices causes persistent infections that cannot be cured with conventional antibiotics. To address this unmet challenge, we engineer tunable active surface topographies with micron-sized pillars that can beat at a programmable frequency and force level in an electromagnetic field. Compared to the flat and static controls, active topographies with the optimized design prevent biofilm formation and remove established biofilms of uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC), Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Staphylococcus aureus, with up to 3.7 logs of biomass reduction. In addition, the detached biofilm cells are found sensitized to bactericidal antibiotics to the level comparable to exponential-phase planktonic cells. Based on these findings, a prototype catheter is engineered and found to remain clean for at least 30 days under the flow of artificial urine medium, while the control catheters are blocked by UPEC biofilms within 5 days.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)