To combat implant-associated infections, there is a need for novel materials which effectively inhibit bacterial biofilm formation. In the present study, the antiadhesive properties of titanium surface functionalization based on the "slippery liquid-infused porous surfaces" (SLIPS) principle were demonstrated and the underlying mechanism was analyzed. The immobilized liquid layer was stable over 13 days of continuous flow in an oral flow chamber system. With increasing flow rates, the surface exhibited a significant reduction in attached biofilm of both the oral initial colonizer Streptococcus oralis and an oral multispecies biofilm composed of S. oralis, Actinomyces naeslundii, Veillonella dispar, and Porphyromonas gingivalis. Using single cell force spectroscopy, reduced S. oralis adhesion forces on the lubricant layer could be measured. Gene expression patterns in biofilms on SLIPS, on control surfaces, and expression patterns of planktonic cultures were also compared. For this purpose, the genome of S. oralis strain ATCC 9811 was sequenced using PacBio Sequel technology. Even though biofilm cells showed clear changes in gene expression compared to planktonic cells, no differences could be detected between bacteria on SLIPS and on control surfaces. Therefore, it can be concluded that the ability of liquid-infused titanium to repel S. oralis biofilms is mainly due to weakened bacterial adhesion to the underlying liquid interface.
Journal: ACS applied materials & interfaces