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Biomaterials. 2008 Mar;29(8):963-9. Epub 2007 Dec 3.

Prevention of Staphylococcus epidermidis biofilm formation using a low-temperature processed silver-doped phenyltriethoxysilane sol-gel coating.

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Centre for Research in Engineering Surface Technology (CREST), FOCAS Institute, Dublin Institute of Technology, Dublin 8, Ireland.


Sol-gel coatings which elute bioactive silver ions are presented as a potential solution to the problem of biofilm formation on indwelling surfaces. There is evidence that high-temperature processing of such materials can lead to diffusion of silver away from the coating surface, reducing the amount of available silver. In this study, we report the biofilm inhibition of a Staphylococcus epidermidis biofilm using a low-temperature processed silver-doped phenyltriethoxysilane sol-gel coating. The incorporation of a silver salt into a sol-gel matrix resulted in an initial high release of silver in de-ionised water and physiological buffered saline (PBS), followed by a lower sustained release for at least 6 days-as determined by graphite furnace-atomic absorption spectroscopy (GF-AAS). The release of silver ions from the sol-gel coating reduced the adhesion and prevented formation of a S. epidermidis biofilm over a 10-day period. The presence of surface silver before and after 24 h immersion in PBS was confirmed by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). These silver-doped coatings also exhibited significant antibacterial activity against planktonic S. epidermidis. A simple test to visualise the antibacterial effect of silver release coatings on neighbouring bacterial cultures is also reported.

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