Bactericidal behaviour of Ti6Al4V surfaces after exposure to UV-C light.

Departamento de Física Aplicada, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Extremadura, Avda de Elvas s/n, 06071 Badajoz, Spain.
Biomaterials (Impact Factor: 8.31). 04/2010; 31(19):5159-68. DOI: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2010.03.005
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT TiO(2)-coated biomaterials that have been excited with UV irradiation have demonstrated biocidal properties in environmental applications, including drinking water decontamination. However, this procedure has not been successfully applied towards the killing of pathogens on medical titanium-based implants, mainly because of practical concerns related to irradiating the inserted biomaterial in situ. Previous researchers assumed that the photocatalysis on the TiO(2) surface during UV application causes the bactericidal effects. However, we show that a residual post-irradiation bactericidal effect exists on the surface of Ti6Al4V, not related with photocatalysis. Using a combination of staining, serial dilutions, and a biofilm assay, we show a significant and time-dependent loss in viability of different bacterial strains of Staphylococcus epidermidis and Staphylococcus aureus on the post-irradiated surface. Although the duration of this antimicrobial effect depends on the strains selected, our experiments suggest that the effect lasts at least 60 min after surface irradiation. The origin of such phenomena is discussed in terms of the physical properties of the irradiated surfaces, which include the emission of energy and changes in surfaces charge occurring during electron-hole recombination processes. The method here proposed for the preparation of antimicrobial titanium surfaces could become especially useful in total implant surgery for which the antimicrobial challenge is mainly during or shortly after surgery.

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