Natural Bactericidal Surfaces: Mechanical Rupture of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Cells by Cicada Wings


Elena P. Ivanova, Jafar Hasan, Hayden K. Webb, Vi Khanh Truong, Gregory S. Watson, Jolanta A. Watson, Vladimir A. Baulin, Sergey Pogodin, James Y. Wang, Mark J. Tobin, Christian Löbbe, Russell J. Crawford

Small, 8 (16), 2489 – 2494 (2012)

Natural superhydrophobic surfaces are often thought to have antibiofouling potential due to their self-cleaning properties. However, when incubated on cicada wings, Pseudomonas aeruginosa cells are not repelled; instead they are penetrated by the nanopillar arrays present on the wing surface, resulting in bacterial cell death. Cicada wings are effective antibacterial, as opposed to antibiofouling, surfaces.