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Biomed Mater. 2014 Apr;9(2):025013. doi: 10.1088/1748-6041/9/2/025013. Epub 2014 Feb 24.

The antibacterial properties and biocompatibility of a Ti-Cu sintered alloy for biomedical application.

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Jiamusi University, Jiamusi 154007, People's Republic of China. Department of Prosthodontics, the Affiliated Hospital of Medical College, Qingdao University, Qingdao 266003, People's Republic of China.


The antibacterial activity, the cytotoxicity and the cell function of a sintered Ti-10 wt% Cu alloy were investigated in order to assess the suitability of the alloy for biomedical application. The antibacterial activity of the alloy was investigated by a plate-count method and the cytotoxicity was studied by examining the MG63 cell response by CCK8 assessment. The cell function was monitored by measuring the AKP activity. The Cu ion released from the Ti-Cu alloy was also measured by an inductively coupled plasma spectrometer at different immersion durations. The results show that the antibacterial rates of the alloy against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus increase with an increase in the incubation duration. After 7 h of incubation, the alloy showed an antibacterial rate of 91.66% against S. aureus and 99. 01% against E. coli. With a further extension of incubation time to 24 h, the antibacterial rate increased to 100% against S. aureus and 99.93% against E. coli. No cytotoxicity was observed on the alloy by a CKK8 test during three days of incubation in comparison with commercially available pure titanium (cp-Ti). AKP test results showed a significantly high AKP value (p = 0.001 < 0.01) on the Ti-Cu alloy on day 1. The Cu ion release was thought to contribute to the strong antibacterial property, but the Cu ion did not lead to cell cytotoxicity. Strong antibacterial activity and good cell biocompatibility suggest that the Ti-Cu alloy could reduce bacterial infection and have a potential application as an implant material.

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