Laser surface modification for the prevention of biofouling by infection causing Escherichia coli

Alice Gillett, David Waugh, Jonathan Lawrence, Mark Swainson, Ron Dixon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Bacteria have evolved to become proficient at adapting to both extracellular and environmental conditions, which has made it possible for them to attach and subsequently form biofilms on varying surfaces. This has resulted in major health concerns and economic burden in both hospital and industrial environments. Surfaces which prevent this bacterial fouling through their physical structure represent a key area of research for the development of antibacterial surfaces for many different environments. Laser surface treatment provides a potential candidate for the production of antibiofouling surfaces for wide ranging surface applications within healthcare and industrial disciplines. In the present study, a KrF 248 nm Excimer laser was utilized to surface pattern polyethylene terephthalate (PET). The surface topography and roughness were determined with the use of a Micromeasure 2, 3D profiler. Escherichia coli (E. coli) growth was analyzed at high shear flow using a CDC Biofilm reactor for 48 h, scanning electron microscopy was used to determine morphology and total viable counts were made. Through this work, it has been shown that the surface modification significantly influenced the distribution and morphology of the attached E. coli cells. What is more, it has been evidenced that the laser-modified PET has been shown to prevent E. coli cells from attaching themselves within the laser-induced micro-surface-features.

Original languageEnglish
Article number022503
JournalJournal of Laser Applications
Issue number2
Early online date31 Mar 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • KrF laser
  • microbiology
  • E. coli
  • surface treatment
  • surface roughness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Instrumentation


Dive into the research topics of 'Laser surface modification for the prevention of biofouling by infection causing Escherichia coli'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this