Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

Antibacterial Surfaces: A Comprehensive Review

Jayadeekshitha M., Nistala Venkata Subrahmanyam, Karthik Raj, Dipankar Pal


Microbial communities adhere to surfaces and colonize themselves. Challenges such as microbial infections are, especially, observed on the surface associated with various medical products. In this review, the authors made efforts to maintain the balance of clarity among different types of antibacterial surfaces that exhibit anti-biofouling or bactericidal or both with the help of present advancements. Besides, this review paper categorised different approaches to modify the surface to antibacterial surfaces using either physical approach or chemical approaches which include applications of coating (such as plasma modification, polymerization, derivatization, functionalization). Biomimicry in nature is the subtle way of observing and understanding how it works. Using this strategy, many developments have been made in wide range of areas. Also, applications were included wherever possible and had been tabulated along with mode of modification and properties. Finally, some surfaces are discussed briefly.


Biomimicry, antibacterial surface, functionalization, polymerization, microbial infection.

Full Text:



Kraigsley A.M,Finkel, S.E. Adaptive evolution in single

species bacterial biofilms. FEMS Microbiol. Lett. (2009) 293, 135–140.

Atefyekta S, Ercan B, J. Karlsson, E. Taylor, S. Chung, T.J. Webster, and M. AnderssonAntimicrobial performance of mesoporous titania thin films: role of pore size, hydrophobicity,and antibiotic release. Int J Nanomed(2016)11: p. 977.

Nikiforov A, Deng X, Xiong Q, Cvelbar U, DeGeyter N, Morent R, Leys C.Non-thermal plasma technology for the development of antimicrobial surfaces: a review. JournalPhys D: ApplPhys (2016)49(20): p. 204002.

Yu K, Lo J.C, Yan M, Yang X, Brooks D.E, Hancock R.E, Lange D,Kizhakkedathu J.N.Antiadhesive antimicrobial peptide coating prevents catheter associated infection in a mouse urinary infection model. Biomaterials (2017)116: p. 69-81.

Spellberg, B, Bartlett J.G, Gilbert D.N.The future of antibiotics and resistance. N Engl J Med (2013)368(4): p. 299-302.

Liu K, Tian Y, Jiang L. Bio-inspired superoleophobic and smart materials: design, fabrication and application.Progress in Materials Science(2013)58, 503-564.

Bixler G.D,Bhushan B. Fluid drag reduction and efficient self-cleaning with rice leaf and butterfly wing bioinspired surfaces.Nanoscale(2013)5, 7685-7710.

C. E. Zobell and E. C. Allen. The significance of marine bacteria in the fouling of submerged surfaces.Journal of Bacteriology(1935)29, 239-251.

Ma J, Sun Y, Gleichauf K, Lou J, Li Q. Nanostructure on taro leaves resists fouling bycolloids and bacteria under submerged conditions. Langmuir (2011) 27,10035–10040.

Ivanova E.P. et al. Natural bactericidal surfaces: mechanical

rupture of Pseudomonas aeruginosa by cicada wings. Small (2012) 8, 2489–2494.

Ionescu M, Zaini P.A, Baccari C,Tran S, da Silva A.M,Lindow S.E, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences(2014)111, E3910-E3918.

Foster T.J, Geoghegan J.A, Ganesh V.K, Hook M. Adhesion, invasion and evasion: the many functions of the surface proteins of Staphylococcus aureus.Nature Reviews Microbiology(2014)12(1),49-62.

Epa V, Hook A, Chang C,Yang J, Langer R, Anderson D,Williams P, Davies M, Alexander M, Winkler D.Advanced Functional Materials (2014)24, 2085-2093.

Taylor P.W. Alternative natural sources for a new generation of antibacterial agents.International journal of antimicrobial agents(2013)42, 195-201.

Diu T, Faruqui N, Sjostrom T, Lamarre B, Jenkinson H.F, Su B,Ryadnov M.G. Cicada-inspired cell-instructivenanopatterned arraysSci. Rep.(2014) 4.

Dunne W.M. Bacterial Adhesion: Seen Any Good Biofilms Lately?Clinical Microbiology Reviews(2002)15, 155-166.

Costerton J, Stewart P.S, Greenberg E, Science(1999)284, 1318-1322.

Hasan J, Chatterjee K.Recent Advances in Engineering Topography Mediated Antibacterial Surfaces.

Ivanova E.P, Hasan J, Webb H.K, Gervinskas G, Juodkazis S, Truong V.K, Wu A.H, Lamb R.N, Baulin V.A, WatsonG.S, Nature communications(2013)4.

Hasan J, Raj S, Yadav L, Chatterjee K. Engineering a nanostructured “super surface” with superhydrophobic and super-killing propertiesRSC Advances(2015)5, 44953-44959.

Dickson M.N, Liang E.I, Rodriguez L.A, Vollereaux N, Yee A.F.

Tiller J.C. et al. Designing surfaces that kill bacteria on contact. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.(2001) 98, 5981–5985.

Bazaka K. et al. Efficient surface modification of biomaterial to prevent biofilm formation and the attachment of microorganisms. Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol.(2012) 95, 299–311.

Ivanova E.P. et al. The influence of nanoscopically thin silver films on bacterial viability and attachment. Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol.(2011) 91, 1149–1157.

Warnes S.L,Keevil C.W. Mechanism of copper surface toxicity in vancomycin-resistant Enterococci following wet or dry surface contact. Appl. Environ. Microbiol.(2011) 77, 6049–6059.

Solano C, Echeverz M, Lasa I. Biofilm dispersion and quorum sensingCurrent Opinion in Microbiology (2014)18, 96-104.

Bjarnsholt T. The Role of Bacterial Biofilms in Chronic InfectionsAPMIS (2013)121, 1-58.

Fantner G.E. et al. Kinetics of antimicrobial peptide activity

measured on individual bacterial cells using high-speed atomic force

microscopy. Nat. Nanotechnol.(2010) 5, 280–285.

Onaizi S.A, Leong, S.S.J. Tethering antimicrobial peptides:current status and potential challenges. Biotechnol. Adv.(2011) 29, 67–74.

Hasan J, Crawford R.J, Ivanova E.P. Antibacterial surfaces: the quest for a new generation of biomaterials. Trends in Biotechnology May (2013) Vol. 31, No. 5.

Hook A.L. et al. Combinatorial discovery of polymers resistant to bacterial attachment. Nat. Biotechnol.(2012) 30, 868–875.

Cao, Z. et al. Reversibly switching the function of a surface between attacking and defending against bacteria. Angew. Chem.(2012) 124, 2656–2659.

Bazaka K. et al. Plasma-assisted surface modification of organic biopolymers to prevent bacterial attachment. ActaBiomater.(2011) 7, 2015– 2028.

Bilek M, McKenzie D. Plasma modified surfaces for covalent immobilization of functional biomolecules in the absence of chemical linkers: towards better biosensors and a new generation of medical implants. Biophys. Rev.(2010) 2, 55–65.

Gilbert P, Moore L.E. Cationic antiseptics: diversity of action under a common epithet. J. Appl. Microbiol.(2005) 99, 703–715.

Murata, H. et al. Permanent, non-leaching antibacterial surfaces – 2: how high-density cationic surfaces kill bacterial cells. Biomaterials(2007) 28, 4870–4879.

Takenaka S. et al. Adaptation of Pseudomonas sp. strain 7-6 to quaternary ammonium compounds and their degradation via dual pathways. Appl. Environ. Microbiol.(2007) 73, 1797–1802.

Wong S.Y. et al. Dual functional polyelectrolyte multilayer coatings for implants: Permanent microbicidal base with controlled release of therapeutic agents. J. Am. Chem. Soc.(2010) 132, 17840–17848.

Waschinski C.J. et al. Insights in the antibacterial action of poly(methyloxazoline)s with a biocidal end group and varying satellite groups. Biomacromolecules(2008) 9, 1764–177.

Fullenkamp D.E. et al. Mussel-inspired silver-releasing antibacterial hydrogels. Biomaterials(2012) 33, 3783–3791.

Kelly, P.J. et al. A study of the antimicrobial and tribological properties of TiN/Ag nanocomposite coatings. Surf. Coat. Technol.(2009) 204, 1137–1140.

Knetsch M.L.W,Koole L.H. New strategies in the development of antimicrobial coatings: the example of increasing usage of silver and silver nanoparticles. Polymers(2011) 3, 340–366.

Schierholz J.M. et al. Efficacy of silver-coated medical devices. J. Hosp. Infect. (1998)40, 257–262.

Gordon O. et al. Silver coordination polymers for prevention of implant infection: thiol interaction, impact on respiratory chain enzymes, and hydroxyl radical induction. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother.(2010) 54, 4208–4218.

Kumar R, Mu¨nstedt H. Silver ion release from antimicrobial polyamide/silver composites. Biomaterials(2005) 26, 2081–2088.

Li Z. et al. Two-level antibacterial coating with both releasekilling and contact-killing capabilities. Langmuir(2006) 22, 9820–9823.

Marini M. et al. Antibacterial activity of plastics coated with silver-doped organic-inorganic hybrid coatings prepared by sol-gel processes. Biomacromolecules(2007) 8, 1246–1254.

Buffet-Bataillon S. et al. Emergence of resistance to antibacterial agents: the role of quaternary ammonium compounds – a critical review. Int. J. Antimicrob. Agents(2012) 39, 381–389.

Timofeeva, L,Kleshcheva N. Antimicrobial polymers: mechanism of action, factors of activity, and applications. Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol.(2011) 89, 475–492.

Li G. et al. Study of pyridinium-type functional polymers. II. Antibacterial activity of soluble pyridinium-type polymers. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. (1998)67, 1761–1768.

Pogodin S. et al. Biophysical model of bacterial cell interactions with nano-patterned cicada wing surfaces. Biophys. Journal (2013) 104, 835–840.

Lin J. et al. Mechanism of bactericidal and fungicidal activities of textiles covalently modified with alkylated polyethylenimine. Biotechnol. Bioeng.(2003) 83, 168–172.

Thallinger B. et al. Antimicrobial enzymes: an emerging strategy to fight microbes and microbial biofilms. Biotechnol. Journal.(2013) 8, 97–109

Siedenbiedel F, Tiller J.C. Antimicrobial polymers in solution and on surfaces: overview and functional principles. Polymers(2012) 4, 46–71.

Fik C.P. et al. Impact of functional satellite groups on the antimicrobial activity and hemocompatibility of telechelicpoy(2- methyloxazoline)s. Biomacromolecules(2011) 13, 165–172.

Liu K, Jiang L. Bio-inspired design of multiscale structures for function integration. Nano Today(2011) 6, 155–175.

Thome J, Holla¨nder A, Jaeger W,Trick I, Oehr C. Ultrathin antibacterial polyammonium coatings on polymer surfaces. Surface and Coatings Technology 174 –175 (2003) 584–587.

Zhang W, Chu P.K, Ji J, Zhang Y, Fu R.K.Y, Yan Q. Antibacterial properties of plasma-modified and triclosan or bronopol coated polyethylene. Polymer 47 (2006) 931–936.

Xu L.C, Siedlecki C.A. Submicron-textured biomaterial surface reduces staphylococcal bacterialadhesion and biofilm formationActaBiomaterialia, (2012) 8, 72-81.

X. Li-Chong and A. S. Christopher, Biomedical Materials, 2014, 9, 035003.



  • There are currently no refbacks.