Bacterial adhesion and biofilm formation on surfaces raises health hazard issues in the medical environment. Previous studies of bacteria adhesion have focused on observations in their natural/native environments. Recently, surface science has contributed in advancing the understanding of bacterial adhesion by providing ideal platforms that attempt to mimic the bacteria's natural environments, whilst also enabling concurrent control, selectivity and spatial control of bacterial adhesion. In this review, we will look at techniques of how nanotechnology is used to control cell adhesion on a planar scale, in addition to describing the use of nanotools for cell micropatterning. Additionally, it will provide a general background of common methods for nanoscale modification enabling biologist unfamiliar with nanotechnology to enter the field.