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Research Highlight | Center for Nanoscale Materials

Tuning antimicrobial properties of biomimetic nanopatterned surfaces

In a study published in Nanoscale, Argonne researchers demonstrate, using a combination of microscopies, the mechanisms by which bacteria are killed, emphasizing the dependence upon pillar density and tip geometry.

Scientific Achievement

Longer/sharper black silicon nanopillars up to 7 μm in length are effective against microbial species and exceed the performance of natural surface mimics by a factor of 2; shorter/blunter nanopillars <2 μm, however, selectively killed specific species.

Significance and Impact

The controlled variation of the features of biomimetics derived from etched black silicon allows for tuning of their antimicrobial efficacy.

Research Details

  • The Center for Nanoscale Materials capabilities employed included fabrication of the pillars in the clean room via reactive ion etching and also SEM and LSCM.
  • Bacterial cells viability tests were performed elsewhere at Argonne. Time-lapse confocal microscopy captured events  indicative of cellular immobilization and rupture.

DOIhttps://​doi​.org/​10.1039/C8NR00439K

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Work was performed in part at the Center for Nanoscale Materials.

About Argonne’s Center for Nanoscale Materials
The Center for Nanoscale Materials is one of the five DOE Nanoscale Science Research Centers, premier national user facilities for interdisciplinary research at the nanoscale supported by the DOE Office of Science. Together the NSRCs comprise a suite of complementary facilities that provide researchers with state-of-the-art capabilities to fabricate, process, characterize and model nanoscale materials, and constitute the largest infrastructure investment of the National Nanotechnology Initiative. The NSRCs are located at DOE’s Argonne, Brookhaven, Lawrence Berkeley, Oak Ridge, Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories. For more information about the DOE NSRCs, please visit https://​sci​ence​.ener​gy​.gov/​b​e​s​/​s​u​f​/​u​s​e​r​-​f​a​c​i​l​i​t​i​e​s​/​n​a​n​o​s​c​a​l​e​-​s​c​i​e​n​c​e​-​r​e​s​e​a​r​c​h​-​c​e​n​ters/.

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