DOI: 10.3390/ma16175855 ISSN:

Silk Fibroin/ZnO Coated TiO2 Nanotubes for Improved Antimicrobial Effect of Ti Dental Implants

Angela Gabriela Păun, Cristina Dumitriu, Camelia Ungureanu, Simona Popescu
  • General Materials Science

The aim of the present research is to develop a novel hybrid coating for a Ti dental implant that combines nature-inspired biomimetic polymers and TiO2 nanostructures with an entrapped ZnO antimicrobial agent. ZnO was used in other studies to cover the surface of Ti or Ti–Zr to reduce the need of clinical antibiotics, prevent the onset of peri-implantitis, and increase the success rate of oral clinical implantation. We developed an original coating that represents a promising approach in clinical dentistry. The titanium surface was first anodized to obtain TiO2 nanotubes (NT). Subsequently, on the NT surface, silk fibroin isolated from Bombyx mori cocoons was deposited as nanofibers using the electrospun technique. For an improved antibacterial effect, ZnO nanoparticles were incorporated in this biopolymer using three different methods. The surface properties of the newly created coatings were assessed to establish how they are influenced by the most important features: morphology, wettability, topography. The evaluation of stability by electrochemical methods in simulated physiological solutions was discussed more in detail, considering that it could bring necessary information related to the behavior of the implant material. All samples had improved roughness and hydrophilicity, as well as corrosion stability (with protection efficiency over 80%). The antibacterial test shows that the functional hybrid coating has good antibacterial activity because it can inhibit the proliferation of Staphylococcus aureus up to 53% and Enterococcus faecalis up to 55%. All Ti samples with the modified surface have proven superior properties compared with unmodified TiNT, which proved that they have the potential to be used as implant material in dentistry.

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