Microtopographic patterns affect escherichia coli biofilm formation on poly(dimethylsiloxane) surfaces

Shuyu Hou, Huan Gu, Cassandra Smith, Dacheng Ren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

114 Scopus citations


Biofilms are involved in 80% of human bacterial infections and are up to 1000 times more tolerant to antibiotics than their planktonic counterparts. To better understand the mechanism of bacteria-surface interactions, polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) surfaces with microtopographic patterns were tested to study the effects of surface topography on bacterial adhesion and biofilm formation. The patterned PDMS surfaces were prepared by transferring complementary surface topography from a silicon wafer etched via photolithography to introduce 10 μm tall square-shape features. The dimension of protruding square features and the distance between adjacent features were systematically varied. Escherichia coli RP437/pRSH103 (with constitutive expression of red fluorescent protein) was found to preferentially attach and form biofilms in valleys between protruding features even when the dimension of plateaus (top of the square features) is considerably larger than valleys. In addition, significant adhesion of E. coli on plateaus was only observed when the plateaus were bigger than 20 μm × 20 μm for face-up patterns and 40 μm × 40 μm for face-down patterns. This finding suggests that a threshold dimension may be essential for biofilm formation on flat surfaces without physical confinement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2686-2691
Number of pages6
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 15 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Microtopographic patterns affect escherichia coli biofilm formation on poly(dimethylsiloxane) surfaces'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this