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Journal for Biophysical Chemistry

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  • Open Access

Impact of engineered surface microtopography on biofilm formation of Staphylococcus aureus

  • 1,
  • 2,
  • 3,
  • 4,
  • 3 and
  • 5Email author

  • Received: 29 March 2007
  • Accepted: 30 May 2007


The surface of an indwelling medical device can be colonized by human pathogens that can form biofilms and cause infections. In most cases, these biofilms are resistant to antimicrobial therapy and eventually necessitate removal or replacement of the device. An engineered surface microtopography based on the skin of sharks, Sharklet AFTM, has been designed on a poly(dimethyl siloxane) elastomer (PDMSe) to disrupt the formation of bacterial biofilms without the use of bactericidal agents. The Sharklet AFTM PDMSe was tested against smooth PDMSe for biofilm formation of Staphylococcus aureus over the course of 21 days. The smooth surface exhibited early-stage biofilm colonies at 7 days and mature biofilms at 14 days, while the topographical surface did not show evidence of early biofilm colonization until day 21. At 14 days, the mean value of percent area coverage of S. aureus on the smooth surface was 54% compared to 7% for the Sharklet AFTM surface (p<0.01). These results suggest that surface modification of indwelling medical devices and exposed sterile surfaces with the Sharklet AFTM engineered topography may be an effective solution in disrupting biofilm formation of S. aureus.