Plasma-spray deposition of hydroxyapatite on titanium (Ti) has proven to be a suboptimal solution to improve orthopedic-implant success rates, as demonstrated by the increasing number of orthopedic revision surgeries due to infection, implant loosening, and a myriad of other reasons. This could be in part due to the high heat involved during plasma-spray deposition, which significantly increases hydroxyapatite crystal growth into the nonbiologically inspired micron regime. There has been a push to create nanotopographies on implant surfaces to mimic the physiological nanostructure of native bone and, thus, improve osteoblast (bone-forming cell) functions and inhibit bacteria functions. Among the several techniques that have been adopted to develop nanocoatings, electrophoretic deposition (EPD) is an attractive, versatile, and effective material-processing technique.
The in vitro study reported here aimed to determine for the first time bacteria responses to hydroxyapatite coated on Ti via EPD.
There were six and three times more osteoblasts on the electrophoretic-deposited hydroxyapatite on Ti compared with Ti (control) and plasma-spray-deposited hydroxyapatite on Ti after 5 days of culture, respectively. Impressively, there were 2.9 and 31.7 times less Staphylococcus aureus on electrophoretic-deposited hydroxyapatite on Ti compared with Ti (control) and plasma-spray-deposited hydroxyapatite on Ti after 18 hours of culture, respectively.
Compared with uncoated Ti and plasma-sprayed hydroxyapatite coated on Ti, the results provided significant promise for the use of EPD to improve bone-cell density and be used as an antibacterial coating without resorting to the use of antibiotics.