Specialists of the National University of Science and Technology “MISIS” together with other Russian scientists managed to give an antibacterial effect to titanium alloy used for implants, which will help patients to recover faster and easier after injuries.
The authors of the development noted that the use of implants made of unmodified metals and alloys can lead to complications due to bacterial infections. To make operations safer and more reliable, it is necessary to use materials that suppress the activity of bacteria.
Scientists propose to use the method of applying an antibacterial coating developed by them for one of the most promising titanium alloys (Ti-Zr-Nb). Experiments have shown that such treatment completely suppresses the growth of E. coli bacteria on the implant surface, which follows from the publication in the Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces journal.
“By chemical etching, we make the surface of the alloy more porous to a depth of 100-120 nanometers, which allows the nanoparticles to be evenly distributed, not only on the surface but also in the depth of the pores. Even at low doses of silver yield, about 0.037 mg/l, which is completely safe for the body, we managed to achieve a pronounced antibacterial effect,” the Senior Researcher at the Laboratory of Inorganic Nanomaterials, Anton Konopatsky, said.
It is specified that silver ions help to destroy bacteria. As the researchers pointed out, the technology of applying bioactive coatings to the surface of implants allows saving time. This goes about the creation of titanium implants using 3D printers and the subsequent application of bioactive calcium phosphate coating on them, which also provides accelerated bone recovery.