Bioactive Surgical Implant Coatings with Optional Antibacterial Function
Abstract: Device associated infections are a growing problem in the field of orthopaedics and dentistry. Bacteria adhering to implant surfaces and subsequent biofilm formation are challenging to treat with systemic administered antibiotics. Functionalization of implant surfaces with therapeutic coatings that are capable of inhibiting bacterial adhesion are therefore considered as a straight forward strategy to treat and prevent implant related infections.In this thesis, the use of crystalline, arc deposited TiO2 and biomimetic hydroxyapatite (HA) coatings were evaluated with respect to their potential as antibacterial surface modifications for bone-anchored implants.UV light induced photocatalysis of anatase dominated TiO2 coated surfaces was shown to provide a bactericidal effect against S. epidermidis under clinically relevant illumination times and doses.Major parts of the drug release work carried out was based on biomimetic HA (HA-B) coated fixation pins. The analysis of the coating characteristics revealed that the nanoporous structure of HA-B coatings in addition to the chemical composition and surface charge are essential parameters that influence the drug carrier performance. Loading by adsorption was demonstrated to be a feasible approach to quickly incorporate antibiotics. The controlled release of antibiotics was shown to facilitate bactericidal effects against S. aureus over application-relevant time periods, even when exposed to biomechanical forces during insertion into bone model materials. Antibiotic incorporation during coating growth was shown to promote somewhat longer drug release time periods than those obtained using adsorption loading.In summary, functionalization of implant surfaces with bioactive and biocompatible coatings is a promising concept to impact the clinical success for bone-anchored applications. The additional feature of optional, on-demand antibacterial properties of these coatings through either on-site drug release or photocatalytic antibacterial treatment is advantageous for the prevention and effective treatment of devices-associated infections. Both strategies provide an immediate response to the implant contamination by bacteria and are believed to contribute towards minimizing the origin of post-surgical infections, while at the same time improving the interfacial stability between implant and bone.
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