Controlling E. coli adhesion on high-k dielectric bioceramics films using poly(amino acid) multilayers

Neil J. Lawrence, Jamie M. Wells-Kingsbury, Marcella M. Ihrig, Teresa E. Fangman, Fereydoon Namavar, Chin Li Cheung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The influence of high-k dielectric bioceramics with poly(amino acid) multilayer coatings on the adhesion behavior of Escherichia coli (E. coli) was studied by evaluating the density of bacteria coverage on the surfaces of these materials. A biofilm forming K-12 strain (PHL628), a wild-type strain (JM109), and an engineered strain (XL1-Blue) of E. coli were examined for their adherence to zirconium oxide (ZrO 2) and tantalum oxide (Ta 2O 5) surfaces functionalized with single and multiple layers of poly(amino acid) polyelectrolytes made by the layer-by-layer (LBL) deposition. Two poly(amino acids), poly(l-arginine) (PARG) and poly(l-aspartic acid) (PASP), were chosen for the functionalization schemes. All three strains were found to grow and preferentially adhere to bare bioceramic film surfaces over bare glass slides. The bioceramic and glass surfaces functionalized with positively charged poly(amino acid) top layers were observed to enhance the adhesion of these bacteria by up to 4-fold in terms of bacteria surface coverage. Minimal bacteria coverage was detected on surfaces functionalized with negatively charged poly(amino acid) top layers. The effect of different poly(amino acid) coatings to promote or minimize bacterial adhesion was observed to be drastically enhanced with the bioceramic substrates than with glass. Such observed enhancements were postulated to be attributed to the formation of higher density of poly(amino acids) coatings enabled by the high dielectric strength (k) of these bioceramics. The multilayer poly(amino acid) functionalization scheme was successfully applied to utilize this finding for micropatterning E. coli on bioceramic thin films.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4301-4308
Number of pages8
Issue number9
StatePublished - Mar 6 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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