Impact of 3D Hierarchical Nanostructures on the Antibacterial Efficacy of a Bacteria-Triggered Self-Defensive Antibiotic Coating. Academic Article uri icon


  • Titanium is often applied in implant surgery, but frequently implicated in infections associated with bacterial adhesion and growth on the implant surface. Here, we show that hierarchical nanostructuring of titanium and the subsequent coating of resulting topographical features with a self-defensive, antibacterial layer-by-layer (LbL) film enables a synergistic action of hierarchical nanotopography and localized, bacteria-triggered antibiotic release to dramatically enhance the antibacterial efficiency of surfaces. Although sole nanostructuring of titanium substrates did not significantly affect adhesion and growth of Staphylococcus aureus, the coating of 3D-nanopillared substrates with an ultrathin tannic acid/gentamicin (TA/G) LbL film resulted in a 10-fold reduction of the number of surface-attached bacteria. This effect is attributed to the enlarged surface area of the nanostructured coating available for localized bacteria-triggered release of antibiotics, as well as to the lower bacterial adhesion forces resulting in subsided activation of bacterial antibiotic-defense mechanisms when bacteria land on nanopillar tips. The result shows that a combination of 3D nanostructuring with a bacteria-triggered antibiotic-releasing coating presents a unique way to dramatically enhance antibacterial efficacy of biomaterial implants.

published proceedings

  • ACS Appl Mater Interfaces

author list (cited authors)

  • Hizal, F., Zhuk, I., Sukhishvili, S., Busscher, H. J., van der Mei, H. C., & Choi, C

citation count

  • 96

complete list of authors

  • Hizal, Ferdi||Zhuk, Iryna||Sukhishvili, Svetlana||Busscher, Henk J||van der Mei, Henny C||Choi, Chang-Hwan

publication date

  • September 2015