pH dependent silver nanoparticles releasing titanium implant: A novel therapeutic approach to control peri-implant infection

Y. Dong, H. Ye, Y. Liu, L. Xu, Z. Wu, X. Hu, J. Ma, J.L. Pathak, J. Liu, G. Wu

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Peri-implant infection control is crucial for implant fixation and durability. Antimicrobial administration approaches to control peri-implant infection are far from satisfactory. During bacterial infection, pH level around the peri-implant surface decreases as low as pH 5.5. This change of pH can be used as a switch to control antimicrobial drug release from the implant surface. Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) have broad-spectrum antimicrobial properties. In this study, we aimed to design a pH-dependent AgNPs releasing titania nanotube arrays (TNT) implant for peri-implant infection control. The nanotube arrays were fabricated on the surface of titanium implant as containers; AgNPs were grafted on TNT implant surface via a low pH-sensitive acetal linker (TNT-AL-AgNPs). SEM, TEM, AFM, FTIR as well as XPS data showed that AgNPs have been successfully linked to TNT via acetal linker without affecting the physicochemical characteristics of TNT. The pH 5.5 enhanced AgNPs release from TNT-AL-AgNPs implant compared with pH 7.4. AgNPs released at pH 5.5 robustly increased antimicrobial activities against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria compared with AgNPs released at pH 7.4. TNT-AL-AgNPs implant enhanced osteoblast proliferation, differentiation, and did not affect osteoblast morphology in vitro. In conclusion, incorporation of AgNPs in TNT via acetal linker maintained the surface characteristics of TNT. TNT-AL-AgNPs implant was biocompatible to osteoblasts and showed osteoinductive properties. AgNPs were released from TNT-AL-AgNPs implant in high dose at pH 5.5, and this release showed strong antimicrobial properties in vitro. Therefore, this novel design of low pH-triggered AgNPs releasing TNT-AL-AgNPs could be an infection-triggered antimicrobial releasing implant model to control peri-implant infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-136
Number of pages10
JournalColloids and surfaces B: Biointerfaces
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017


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