On-Demand Removal of Bacterial Biofilms via Shape Memory Activation

Huan Gu, Sang Won Lee, Shelby Lois Buffington, James H. Henderson, Dacheng Ren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Bacterial biofilms are a major cause of chronic infections and biofouling; however, effective removal of established biofilms remains challenging. Here we report a new strategy for biofilm control using biocompatible shape memory polymers with defined surface topography. These surfaces can both prevent bacterial adhesion and remove established biofilms upon rapid shape change with moderate increase of temperature, thereby offering more prolonged antifouling properties. We demonstrate that this strategy can achieve a total reduction of Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms by 99.9% compared to the static flat control. It was also found effective against biofilms of Staphylococcus aureus and an uropathogenic strain of Escherichia coli.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21140-21144
Number of pages5
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number33
StatePublished - Aug 24 2016


  • antibiofouling surfaces
  • biofilm
  • shape memory polymer
  • surface topography
  • temperature-responsive material

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science


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