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Biomaterials. 2006 Nov;27(32):5512-7. Epub 2006 Jul 26.

In vitro anti-bacterial and biological properties of magnetron co-sputtered silver-containing hydroxyapatite coating.

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University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN 38163, USA.


Bacterial infection after implant placement is a significant rising complication. In order to reduce the incidence of implant-associated infections, several biomaterial surface treatments have been proposed. In this study, the effect of in vitro antibacterial activity and in vitro cytotoxicity of co-sputtered silver (Ag)-containing hydroxyapatite (HA) coating was evaluated. Deposition was achieved by a concurrent supply of 10 W to the Ag target and 300 W to the HA target. Heat treatment at 400 degrees C for 4 h was performed after 3 h deposition. X-ray diffraction, contact angles measurements, and surface roughness were used to characterize the coating surfaces. The RP12 strain of Staphylococcus epidermidis (ATCC 35984) and the Cowan I strain of Staphylococcus aureus were used to evaluate the antibacterial activity of the Ag-HA coatings, whereas human embryonic palatal mesenchyme cells, an osteoblast precursor cell line, were used to evaluate the in vitro cytotoxicity of the coatings. X-ray diffraction analysis performed in this study indicated peaks corresponding to Ag and HA on the co-sputtered Ag-HA surfaces. The contact angles for HA and Ag-HA surfaces were observed to be significantly lower when compared to Ti surfaces, whereas no significant difference in surface roughness was observed for all groups. In vitro bacterial adhesion study indicated a significantly reduced number of S. epidermidis and S. aureus on Ag-HA surface when compared to titanium (Ti) and HA surfaces. In addition, no significant difference in the in vitro cytotoxicty was observed between HA and Ag-HA surfaces. Overall, it was concluded that the creation of a multifunctional surface can be achieved by co-sputtering the osteoconductive HA with antibacterial Ag.

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