Anti-biofouling properties of femtosecond laser-induced sub-micron topographies on elastomeric surfaces

Reshma Siddiquiea, Anvesh Gaddam, Amit Agrawal, Stefan Dimov, Suhas Joshi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)
205 Downloads (Pure)


Antibacterial coatings are often employed to elastomer surfaces to inhibit bacterial attachment. However, such approaches could lead to increased antibiotic resistance. Surface micro-/nanotexturing is gaining significant attention recently, as it is a passive approach to reduce bacterial adhesion to surfaces. To this end, this work aims to assess the anti-biofouling functionality of femtosecond laser-induced submicron topographies on biomedical elastomer surfaces. Femtosecond laser processing was employed to produce two types of topographies on stainless-steel substrates. The first one was highly regular and single scale submicron laser-induced periodic surface structures (LIPSS) while the second one was multiscale structures (MSs) containing both submicron- and micron-scale features. Subsequently, these topographies were replicated on polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) and polyurethane (PU) elastomers to evaluate their bacterial retention characteristics. The submicron textured PDMS and PU surfaces exhibited long-term hydrophobic durability up to 100 h under immersed conditions. Both LIPSS and MS topographies on PDMS and PU elastomeric surfaces were shown to substantially reduce (>89%) the adhesion of Gram-negative Escherichia coli bacteria. At the same time, the anti-biofouling performance of LIPSS and MS topographies was found to be comparable with that of lubricant-impregnated surfaces. The influence of physical defects on textured surfaces on the adhesion behavior of bacteria was also elucidated. The results presented here are significant because the polymeric biomedical components that can be produced by replication cost effectively, while their biocompatibility can be improved through femtosecond surface modification of the respective replication masters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5349-5358
Number of pages10
Issue number19
Early online date28 Apr 2020
Publication statusPublished - 19 May 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors are thankful for the financial support of the UKIERI-DST (DST/INT/UK/P-169/2017) and EC H2020 HIMALAIA project. We are also grateful to the instrument support provided by the Sophisticated Analytical Instrument Facility (SAIF) at IIT Bombay, India. We also acknowledge a great help provided by Dr. Himani Sharma, Vishakha Surve and Prof. Rahul Purwar from the Department of Biosciences and Bioengineering, IIT Bombay, in conducting bacterial retention tests.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2020 American Chemical Society.


  • PDMS
  • anti-biofouling
  • biomedical elastomers
  • femtosecond
  • laser induced periodic surface structures
  • lubricant-impregnated surfaces
  • polyurethane.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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