Retention of bacteria on a substratum surface with micro-patterned hydrophobicity
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2000
Bacteria adhere to almost any surface, despite continuing arguments about the importance of physico-chemical properties of substratum surfaces, such as hydrophobicity and charge in biofilm formation. Nevertheless, in vivo biofilm formation on teeth and also on voice prostheses in laryngectomized patients is less on hydrophobic than on hydrophilic surfaces. With the aid of micro-patterned surfaces consisting of 10-mu m wide hydrophobic lines separated by 20-mu m wide hydrophilic spacings, we demonstrate here, For the first time in one and the same experiment, that bacteria do not have a strong preference for adhesion to hydrophobic or hydrophilic surfaces. Upon challenging the adhering bacteria, after deposition in a parallel plate flow chamber, with a high detachment force, however, bacteria were easily wiped-off hydrophobic lines, most notably when these lines were oriented parallel to the direction of flow. Adhering bacteria detached slightly less from the hydrophilic spacings in between, but preferentially accumulated adhering on the hydrophilic regions close to the interface between the hydrophilic spacings and hydrophobic lines. It is concluded that substratum hydrophobicity is a major determinant of bacterial retention while it hardly influences bacterial adhesion.