Bacterial attachment and colonization to hygiene sensitive surfaces, both public and nosocomial, as well as in food industry areas, poses a serious problem to human healthcare. Several infection incidents are reported, while bacterial resistance to antibiotics is increasing. Recently, novel techniques for the design of antibacterial surfaces to limit bacterial spreading have emerged, including bifunctional antibacterial surfaces with antifouling and bactericidal action. In this context, we have recently developed smart, universal, metal-sputtered superhydrophobic surfaces, demonstrating both bacterial repulsion and killing efficacy. Herein, we present the optimization process that led to the realization of these “hybrid” antibacterial surfaces. To this end, two bactericidal agents, silver and copper, were tested for their efficiency against Gram-negative bacteria, with copper showing a stronger bactericidal action. In addition, between two low surface energy coatings, the fluorinated-alkyl self-assembled chlorosilane layer from perfluorinated octyltrichlorosilane (pFOTS) solution and the fluorocarbon layer from octafluorocyclobutane (C4
) plasma were both approved for their anti-adhesive properties after immersion in bacterial solution. However, the latter was found to be more efficient when engrafted with the bactericidal agent in shielding its killing performance. Furthermore, the thickness of the plasma-deposited fluorocarbon layer was optimized, in order to simultaneously retain both the superhydrophobicity of the surface and its long-term bactericidal activity.
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