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Science & Technology

Nanopillar Structures for Antibacterial Applications

By 12th April 2020No Comments

The following study was conducted by Scientists from Bristol Dental School, School of Biochemistry, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK; School of Materials Science, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK. Study is published in Nature Communications Journal as detailed below.

Nature Communications; Volume 11, Article Number: 1626; (2020)

Antibacterial Effects of Nanopillar Surfaces are Mediated by Cell Impedance, Penetration and Induction of Oxidative Stress


Some insects, such as dragonflies, have evolved nanoprotrusions on their wings that rupture bacteria on contact. This has inspired the design of antibacterial implant surfaces with insect-wing mimetic nanopillars made of synthetic materials. Here, we characterise the physiological and morphological effects of mimetic titanium nanopillars on bacteria. The nanopillars induce deformation and penetration of the Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacterial cell envelope, but do not rupture or lyse bacteria. They can also inhibit bacterial cell division, and trigger production of reactive oxygen species and increased abundance of oxidative stress proteins. Our results indicate that nanopillars’ antibacterial activities may be mediated by oxidative stress, and do not necessarily require bacterial lysis.


Nature Communications



Jenkins, J., J. Mantell, et al. (2020). “Antibacterial effects of nanopillar surfaces are mediated by cell impedance, penetration and induction of oxidative stress.” Nature Communications 11(1): 1626.