The five Ws (and one H) of super-hydrophobic surfaces in medicine

F. Gentile, M.L. Coluccio, Tania Limongi, G. Perozziello, P. Candeloro, Enzo M. Di Fabrizio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Super-hydrophobic surfaces (SHSs) are bio-inspired, artificial microfabricated interfaces, in which a pattern of cylindrical micropillars is modified to incorporate details at the nanoscale. For those systems, the integration of different scales translates into superior properties, including the ability of manipulating biological solutions. The five Ws, five Ws and one H or the six Ws (6W), are questions, whose answers are considered basic in information-gathering. They constitute a formula for getting the complete story on a subject. According to the principle of the six Ws, a report can only be considered complete if it answers these questions starting with an interrogative word: who, why, what, where, when, how. Each question should have a factual answer. In what follows, SHSs and some of the most promising applications thereof are reviewed following the scheme of the 6W. We will show how these surfaces can be integrated into bio-photonic devices for the identification and detection of a single molecule. We will describe how SHSs and nanoporous silicon matrices can be combined to yield devices with the capability of harvesting small molecules, where the cut-off size can be adequately controlled. We will describe how this concept is utilized for obtaining a direct TEM image of a DNA molecule. 2014 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239-262
Number of pages24
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 5 2014

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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