Date of Award

Summer 7-1-2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Biomedical and Chemical Engineering


Ren, Dacheng

Second Advisor

Mozhdehi, Davoud


Bacteria, Biomaterials, Breast Implants, Macrophages, Phagocytosis, Surface Topography

Subject Categories

Biomedical Engineering and Bioengineering | Engineering | Microbiology


An association has been found between the texture of breast implants and anaplastic large cell lymphoma, which led to some textured implants to be withdrawn from the market in 2019. There is evidence that these cancers are associated with the harboring of bacteria on the surfaces of the textured implants. It is possible that specific topographic features hinder the removal of attached bacteria by inhibiting macrophage phagocytosis or promoting biofilm formation. Here we examine how bacteria and macrophages interact with recessive surface topographies as analogs to the surfaces seen on textured breast implants. Changes in bacteria morphology were observed among the cells attached in deep recessive features. There was a preference for macrophage overlap with surface topography, particularly for recesses around 5x5 µm in size. These results indicate that certain topography could affect localization of bacteria and macrophages to the recesses of the surface, while other topographies could enhance biofilm formation and filamentation of bacteria in recesses and thus hinder phagocytosis. Quantification of phagocytosis on different topographies showed a decrease in bacteria per macrophage on 5 µm wells compared to flat surfaces. It was also seen that deeper 30 µm topography had less phagocytosis compared to shallower 10 µm deep patterns, and macrophages inside of 30 µm deep wells phagocytosed less bacteria than those outside of the wells. In summary, the findings of this study suggest that certain topographic features can reduce phagocytosis of bacteria and thus contribute to long-term biofilm formation and complications.


Open Access



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