Many studies have been conducted to combat the bacterial infections problem by creating antimicrobial surfaces. However, the majority of them require complex manufacturing processes and expensive equipment. In this study, a cheaper and easy to be fabricated antimicrobial surface has been developed. First, a micropatterned 3D printed structure was fabricated. Then it was coated with zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoflower. The study demonstrated that micropatterned structure served as an “armor” to the nanostructure from plastic scraper and finger abrasion. To test the antimicrobial performance of the surface, the chip was immersed in 2E8 CFU/mL Escherichia coli (E. coli) suspension and incubated for 12, 24, and 48 hours at 37 °C. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and the ImageJ program were used to quantify bacterial growth. The study showed that the micropatterned structure would concentrate E. coli cells into the bottom of them. The ZnO nanoflower presented excellent inhibition capability against E. coli. It was able to reduce the percent bacterial coverage by at least 20%. The abrasion test showed that the robust protection of the ZnO nanoflowers still outperforms the flat surface or structure without ZnO nanoflowers coating after 6 minutes. It was observed that the abrasion would transfer ZnO nanoflowers to the ridge surface as abrasion time increased. Alternately, the percentage of bacteria coverage on the valley section increased as abrasion time increased but still performed better than the control.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Biofilms--Prevention; Three-dimensional printing; Zinc oxide--Testing

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Manufacturing and Mechanical Systems Integration (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering Technology (CET)


Ke Du

Advisor/Committee Member

Blana Iapizco-encinas

Advisor/Committee Member

Martin K. Anselm


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes