Study of Staphylococcus aureus adhesion a novel nanostructured surface by chemiluminometry

D. Campoccia, Lucio Montanaro, H. Agheli, D. S. Sutherland, V. Pirini, M. E. Donati, Carla Renata Arciola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In recent years the progress in the field of nanotechnologies has offered new possibilities to control the superficial features of implant materials down to a nanoscale level. Several studies have therefore tried to explore the effects of nanostructured biomaterial surfaces on the behavior of eukaryotic cells. However, nanotopography could exert an influence also on the behavior of prokaryotic cells, with relevant implications concerning the susceptibility of implant surfaces to infection. Aim of this study was to examine the behavior of Staphylococcus aureus on polyethylene terephthalate (PET) surfaces either cylindrically nanostructured (PET-N) or flat ion-etched (PET-F), and on tissue culture-grade polystyrene (PS). Microbial adherence was assessed by chemiluminometry under 4 different conditions: (a) bacteria suspended in MEM medium, (b) bacteria in MEM supplemented with 10% fetal bovine serum (FBS), (c) test surfaces preconditioned in FBS, and (d) post-exposure of colonised surfaces to serum-supplemented MEM. Under all circumstances, PET-F and PET-N specimens showed identical bacterial adhesion properties. In the absence of serum, all 3 test materials showed a very high adhesivity to microbial cells and both PET surfaces exhibited greater adhesion than PS. On the contrary, the presence of 10% serum in solution significantly affected cell behavior: the number of microbial cells on all surfaces was drastically reduced, and the adhesion properties of PET surfaces with respect to PS were reversed, with PET being less adhesive. Overall, the specific cylindrical nanostructures created on PET did not significantly influence microbial behavior. Ongoing studies are verifying whether other nanotopographies with different geometry could have more substantial effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)622-629
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Artificial Organs
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2006


  • Bacterial adhesion
  • Chemiluminometry
  • Methods
  • Nanostructured materials
  • Serum
  • Staphylococcus aureus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics


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