The influence of picosecond laser generated periodic structures on bacterial behaviour

Rajab, Fatema H., Tariq A.S., Tayf, Al-Jumaily, Anmar K., Alshaer, Ahmad W. orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-5031-8493, Li, Lin and Whitehead, Kathryn A. (2021) The influence of picosecond laser generated periodic structures on bacterial behaviour. Applied Surface Science, 540 (Part 1). p. 148292. ISSN 0169-4332

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The formation of a biofilm is preceded by bacterial retention and proliferation on a surface. Biofilm development on surfaces can cause numerous issues in terms of fouling and bacterial transmission and contamination. The design and fabrication of surfaces that prevent bacterial retention and biofilm formation may provide a potential solution to reduce bacterial fouling of surfaces. An EdgeWave, Nd:YVO4 picosecond laser was used to generate two periodic surface topographies on 316L stainless steel surfaces with and without fluoroalkylsilane (FAS) treatment. These were characterised using Optical Laser Microscopy (OLM), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), contact angle measurements, and Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDX). The surface wettability and retention of Escherichia coli bacteria on the laser generated surfaces were analysed over one month. Without chemical treatment, and with increasing the time to one month, the results showed that the wettability of laser treated surfaces was decreased as was subsequent bacterial retention. However, the control surface recorded the lowest number of adhered bacteria. After reducing the surface tension, the number of bacteria retention was decreased on all surfaces and one of laser generated surfaces which presented higher contact angle and lower surface tension components (CA = 132°, ΔGiwi = −85.26, γs = 13.81, γsLW = 13.37, and γs− = 0.13) recorded the minimal number of bacteria retention. The results showed that reducing the surface tension played an important role which reduced bacterial fouling.

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