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Surface Topography on the Distribution, Density, Dispersion and Clustering of Differently Organised Coccal-Shaped Bacteria

Lynch, Stephen ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4183-5122, Slate, Anthony, Evans, Adele, Kelly, Peter, Verran, Joanne and Whitehead, KA (2022) Surface Topography on the Distribution, Density, Dispersion and Clustering of Differently Organised Coccal-Shaped Bacteria. Antibiotics, 11 (5). pp. 1-13. ISSN 2079-6382

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Abstract

The topographic features of surfaces are known to affect bacterial retention on a surface, but the precise mechanisms of this phenomenon are little understood. Four coccal-shaped bacteria, Staphylococcus sciuri, Streptococcus pyogenes, Micrococcus luteus, and Staphylococcus aureus, that organise in different cellular groupings (grape-like clusters, tetrad-arranging clusters, short chains, and diploid arrangement, respectively) were used. These differently grouped cells were used to determine how surface topography affected their distribution, density, dispersion, and clustering when retained on titanium surfaces with defined topographies. Titanium-coated surfaces that were smooth and had grooved features of 1.02 µm-wide, 0.21 µm-deep grooves, and 0.59 µm-wide, 0.17 µm-deep grooves were used. The average contact angle of the surfaces was 91°. All bacterial species were overall of a hydrophobic nature, although M. luteus was the least hydrophobic. It was demonstrated that the 1.02 µm-wide featured surface most affected Strep. pyogenes and S. sciuri, and hence the surfaces with the larger surface features most affected the cells with smaller dimensions. The 0.59 µm featured surface only affected the density of the bacteria, and it may be suggested that the surfaces with the smaller features reduced bacterial retention. These results demonstrate that the size of the topographical surface features affect the distribution, density, dispersion, and clustering of bacteria across surfaces, and this is related to the cellular organisation of the bacterial species. The results from this work inform how surface topographical and bacterial properties affect the distribution, density, dispersion, and clustering of bacterial retention.

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