Antibacterial efficacy of titanium-containing alloy with silver-nanoparticles enriched diamond-like carbon coatings.
Silver ions (Ag(+)) have strong bactericidal effects and Ag-coated medical devices proved their effectiveness in reducing infections in revision total joint arthroplasty. We quantitatively determined the antimicrobial potency of different surface treatments on a titanium alloy (Ti), which had been conversed to diamond-like carbon (DLC-Ti) and doped with high (Ag:PVP = 1:2) and low (Ag:PVP = 1:10 and 1:20) concentrations of Ag (Ag-DLC-Ti) with a modified technique of ion implantation. Bacterial adhesion and planktonic growth of clinically relevant bacterial strains (Staphylococcus epidermidis, Staphylococcus aureus, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa) on Ag-DLC-Ti were compared to untreated Ti by quantification of colony forming units on the adherent surface and in the growth medium as well as semiquantitatively by determining the grade of biofilm formation by scanning electron microscopy. (1) A significant (p< 0.05) antimicrobial effect could be found for all Ag-DLC-Ti samples (reduced growth by 5.6-2.5 logarithmic levels). (2) The antimicrobial effect was depending on the tested bacterial strain (most for P. aeruginosa, least for S. aureus). (3) Antimicrobial potency was positively correlated with Ag concentrations. (4) Biofilm formation was decreased by Ag-DLC-Ti surfaces. This study revealed potent antibacterial effects of Ag-DLC-Ti. This may serve as a promising novel approach to close the gap in antimicrobial protection of musculoskeletal implants.