Joint replacement surgery is associated with significant morbidity and mortality following infection with either methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) or Staphylococcus epidermidis. These organisms have strong biofilm-forming capability in deep wounds and on prosthetic surfaces, with 103 -104 microbes resulting in clinically significant infections. To inhibit biofilm formation, we developed 3D titanium structures using selective laser melting and then coated them with a silver nanolayer using atomic layer deposition. On bare titanium scaffolds, S. epidermidis growth was slow but on silver-coated implants there were significant further reductions in both bacterial recovery (p <0.0001) and biofilm formation (p <0.001). MRSA growth was similarly slow on bare titanium scaffolds and not further affected by silver coating. Ultrastructural examination and viability assays using either human bone or endothelial cells, demonstrated strong adherence and growth on titanium-only or silver-coated implants. Histological, X-ray computed microtomographic, and ultrastructural analyses revealed that silver-coated titanium scaffolds implanted into 2.5 mm defects in rat tibia promoted robust vascularization and conspicuous bone ingrowth. We conclude that nanolayer silver of titanium implants significantly reduces pathogenic biofilm formation in vitro, facilitates vascularization and osseointegration in vivo making this a promising technique for clinical orthopedic applications.
- Staphylococcus epidermidis
- atomic layer deposition
- methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus