Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 99, Issue 16, pp 6831–6840 | Cite as

Self-organised nanoarchitecture of titanium surfaces influences the attachment of Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria

  • Vi Khanh Truong
  • Vy T. H. Pham
  • Alexander Medvedev
  • Rimma Lapovok
  • Yuri Estrin
  • Terry C. Lowe
  • Vladimir Baulin
  • Veselin Boshkovikj
  • Christopher J. Fluke
  • Russell J. Crawford
  • Elena P. Ivanova
Applied microbial and cell physiology


The surface nanotopography and architecture of medical implant devices are important factors that can control the extent of bacterial attachment. The ability to prevent bacterial attachment substantially reduces the possibility of a patient receiving an implant contracting an implant-borne infection. We now demonstrated that two bacterial strains, Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, exhibited different attachment affinities towards two types of molecularly smooth titanium surfaces each possessing a different nanoarchitecture. It was found that the attachment of S. aureus cells was not restricted on surfaces that had an average roughness (S a) less than 0.5 nm. In contrast, P. aeruginosa cells were found to be unable to colonise surfaces possessing an average roughness below 1 nm, unless sharp nanoprotrusions of approximately 20 nm in size and spaced 35.0 nm apart were present. It is postulated that the enhanced attachment of P. aeruginosa onto the surfaces possessing these nanoprotrusions was facilitated by the ability of the cell membrane to stretch over the tips of the nanoprotrusions as confirmed through computer simulation, together with a concomitant increase in the level of extracellular polymeric substance (EPS) being produced by the bacterial cells.


Bacterial attachment Surface nanoarchitecture Molecularly smooth surfaces Staphylococcus aureus Pseudomonas aeruginosa 



This study was supported in part by Australian Research Council through an ARC Linkage grant.

Supplementary material

253_2015_6572_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (1.3 mb)
ESM 1 (PDF 1375 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vi Khanh Truong
    • 1
  • Vy T. H. Pham
    • 1
  • Alexander Medvedev
    • 2
  • Rimma Lapovok
    • 2
  • Yuri Estrin
    • 2
  • Terry C. Lowe
    • 4
  • Vladimir Baulin
    • 5
  • Veselin Boshkovikj
    • 1
  • Christopher J. Fluke
    • 3
  • Russell J. Crawford
    • 1
  • Elena P. Ivanova
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Science, Faculty of Science, Engineering and TechnologySwinburne University of TechnologyHawthornAustralia
  2. 2.Centre for Advanced Hybrid Materials, Department of Materials EngineeringMonash UniversityClaytonAustralia
  3. 3.Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing, Faculty of Science, Engineering and TechnologySwinburne University of TechnologyHawthornAustralia
  4. 4.Department of Metallurgical and Materials EngineeringColorado School of MinesGoldenUSA
  5. 5.Departament d’Enginyeria QuimicaUniversitat Rovirai VirgiliTarragonaSpain

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