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J Inorg Biochem. 2018 Jan;178:43-53. doi: 10.1016/j.jinorgbio.2017.10.004. Epub 2017 Oct 10.

Biomimetic fabrication of antibacterial calcium phosphates mediated by polydopamine.

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Department of Chemistry "Giacomo Ciamician", University of Bologna, via Selmi 2, 40126 Bologna, Italy.
Laboratory of Preclinical and Surgical Studies, Codivilla-Putti Research Institute, Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute, via di Barbiano 1/10, 40136 Bologna, Italy.
Department of Pharmacy and Biotechnology, University of Bologna, via Massarenti 9, 40138 Bologna, Italy.
Department of Chemistry "Giacomo Ciamician", University of Bologna, via Selmi 2, 40126 Bologna, Italy. Electronic address:
Department of Chemical and Geological Sciences, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, via Campi 103, 41125 Modena, Italy.
Microbiology Operative Unit-Bacteriology Section, S. Orsola-Malpighi Hospital, via Massarenti 9, 40138 Bologna, Italy.


In this work we developed new antibacterial composite materials using polydopamine (PDA) to trigger the deposition of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) onto calcium phosphates, namely octacalcium phosphate (OCP) and α-tricalcium phosphate (αTCP). Functionalization of OCP and αTCP with a self-polymerized polydopamine layer was obtained by soaking the calcium phosphates in dopamine solution. The PDA surface of functionalized calcium phosphates (OCPd and αTCPd) promoted the deposition of AgNPs by reducing silver ions when soaked in a silver nitrate solution. The amount of deposited AgNPs can be modulated by varying the concentration of silver nitrate solution and the type of substrate. The results of in vitro tests carried out with osteoblast-like MG63 cells indicate that the combination of AgNPs with OCP provides more biocompatible materials than those obtained using αTCP as substrate. In particular, the study of osteoblast activity and differentiation was focused on the samples OCPdAg5 (silver content=8.2wt%) and αTCPdAg5 (silver content=4.7wt%), which did not show any cytotoxicity, and compared with those obtained on pure OCP and αTCP. The results demonstrate that the AgNPs loaded materials support osteoblast viability and differentiation, whereas they significantly inhibit the growth of relevant antibiotic-resistant pathogenic bacteria.


Multi-drug resistant bacteria; Octacalcium phosphate; Osteoblast; Polydopamine; Silver nanoparticles; α-Tricalcium phosphate

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