Preventing Antibiotic-Resistant Infections: Additively Manufactured Porous Ti6Al4V Biofunctionalized with Ag and Fe Nanoparticles

N.E. Putra*, M.A. Leeflang, Verena Ducret, Viorica Patrulea, E.L. Fratila-Apachitei, Karl Perron, Hua Ye, J. Zhou, I. Apachitei, A.A. Zadpoor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Implant-associated infections are highly challenging to treat, particularly with the emergence of multidrug-resistant microbials. Effective preventive action is desired to be at the implant site. Surface biofunctionalization of implants through Ag-doping has demonstrated potent antibacterial results. However, it may adversely affect bone regeneration at high doses. Benefiting from the potential synergistic effects, combining Ag with other antibacterial agents can substantially decrease the required Ag concentration. To date, no study has been performed on immobilizing both Ag and Fe nanoparticles (NPs) on the surface of additively manufactured porous titanium. We additively manufactured porous titanium and biofunctionalized its surface with plasma electrolytic oxidation using a Ca/P-based electrolyte containing Fe NPs, Ag NPs, and the combinations. The specimen’s surface morphology featured porous TiO2 bearing Ag and Fe NPs. During immersion, Ag and Fe ions were released for up to 28 days. Antibacterial assays against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa showed that the specimens containing Ag NPs and Ag/Fe NPs exhibit bactericidal activity. The Ag and Fe NPs worked synergistically, even when Ag was reduced by up to three times. The biofunctionalized scaffold reduced Ag and Fe NPs, improving preosteoblasts proliferation and Ca-sensing receptor activation. In conclusion, surface biofunctionalization of porous titanium with Ag and Fe NPs is a promising strategy to prevent implant-associated infections and allow bone regeneration and, therefore, should be developed for clinical application.
Original languageEnglish
Article number13239
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • antibiotic-resistant bacteria
  • implant-associated infection
  • surface biofunctionalization
  • additive manufacturing
  • antibacterial
  • iron nanoparticles
  • silver nanoparticles

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