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Lotus-leaf-inspired hierarchical structured surface with non-fouling and mechanical bactericidal performances

Jiang, R; Hao, L; Song, L; Tian, L; Fan, Y; Zhao, J; Liu, C; ... Ren, L; + view all (2020) Lotus-leaf-inspired hierarchical structured surface with non-fouling and mechanical bactericidal performances. Chemical Engineering Journal , 398 , Article 125609. 10.1016/j.cej.2020.125609. Green open access

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Abstract

Antibiotics, a power tool to combat pathogenic bacterial infection, have experienced their inability to kill drug-resistant bacteria due to the development of antibiotic resistance. As an alternative, nanostructured, mechanical bactericidal surfaces may hold promise in killing bacteria without triggering antimicrobial resistance; however, accumulation of dead bacteria would greatly reduce their antimicrobial activity. In this study, for the first time we report a surprising discovery that the lotus leaf, well known for its superhydrophobicity, has demonstrated not only strong repelling effect against bacteria but also bactericidal activity via a cell-rupturing mechanism. Inspired by this unexpected finding, we subsequently designed and prepared a hierarchically structured surface, comprising microscale cylinders with superimposed nanoneedles on top, which was rendered superhydrophobic (water contact angle: 174°; roll-off angle: <1°) upon surface perfluorination. The hierarchically structured surface has displayed remarkable synergistic antimicrobial activity against Escherichia coli: while the majority of the bacteria (>99%) were repelled from the surface (non-fouling), those tenacious bacteria that managed to be in touch of the surface were physically killed completely. Compared to a conventional superhydrophobic surface (non-fouling to some extent, but no bacteria-killing) or a mechanical bactericidal surface (bacteria-killing but not bacteria-repelling), our new structured surface has the great advantage in maintaining long-term effectiveness in antimicrobial activity. We envisage that this study will help develop long-term effective antimicrobial strategies based entirely on physical bactericidal mechanism (thus, avoiding risks of triggering antimicrobial resistance).

Type: Article
Title: Lotus-leaf-inspired hierarchical structured surface with non-fouling and mechanical bactericidal performances
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.cej.2020.125609
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cej.2020.125609
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: synergistic antibacterial, mechanical bactericidal, long-term antimicrobial, biomimetic hierarchical structures, lotus leaf surface
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Surgery and Interventional Sci
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Surgery and Interventional Sci > Department of Ortho and MSK Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10099454
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