Backscattered Electron Imaging and Electron Backscattered Diffraction in the Study of Bacterial Attachment to Titanium Alloy Structure

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Anqi Wang
  • Yue Li
  • Linnan Ke
  • Yuanli Huang
  • Li Liu
  • Chunren Wang

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • China National Institute for Food and Drug Control, Division of Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering
  • AnEnd Inc.


The application of secondary electron (SE) imaging, backscattered electron imaging (BSE) and electron backscattered diffraction (EBSD) was investigated in this work to study the bacterial adhesion and proliferation on a commercially pure titanium (cp Ti) and a Ti6Al4V alloy (Ti 64) with respect to substrate microstructure and chemical composition. Adherence of Gram-positive Staphylococcus epidermidis 11047 and Streptococcus sanguinis GW2, and Gram-negative Serratia sp. NCIMB 40259 and Escherichia coli 10418 was compared on cp Ti, Ti 64, pure aluminium (Al) and vanadium (V). The substrate microstructure and the bacterial distribution on these metals were characterised using SE, BSE and EBSD imaging. It was observed that titanium alloy-phase structure, grain boundaries and grain orientation did not influence bacterial adherence or proliferation at microscale. Adherence of all four strains was similar on cp Ti and Ti 64 surfaces whilst inhibited on pure Al. This work establishes a nondestructive and straight-forward statistical method to analyse the relationship between microbial distribution and metal alloy structure.


Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Microscopy
Early online date11 Oct 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Oct 2017


  • electron microscopy , bacteria adhesion , grain boundary , grain orientation , chemical composition , microstructure