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6. Apr 2017 | Coatings Technologies

New nanocoating for dental implants reduces risk of infections

A research team has developed and evaluated the effectiveness of a new nanocoating for dental implants to reduce the risk of peri-implantitis.

New nanocoating for dental implants reduces risk of infections. Source: pixabay.com/CCO

The results of their work are published in the journal Nanotoxicology.

Combination of silver, TiO and hydroxyapatite

In the study, the research team comprising scientists from the School of Biological and Marine Sciences, Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry and the School of Engineering at the University of Plymouth, created a new approach using a combination of silver, titanium oxide and hydroxyapatite nanocoatings.

Surface with anti-biofilm properties

The application of the combination to the surface of titanium alloy implants successfully inhibited bacterial growth and reduced the formation of bacterial biofilm on the surface of the implants by 97.5 percent. Not only did the combination result in the effective eradication of infection, it created a surface with anti-biofilm properties which supported successful integration into surrounding bone and accelerated bone healing.

Translating findings into clinical practice

Professor Christopher Tredwin, Head of Plymouth University Peninsula School of Dentistry, commented: "In this cross-Faculty study we have identified the means to protect dental implants against the most common cause of their failure. The potential of our work for increased patient comfort and satisfaction, and reduced costs, is great and we look forward to translating our findings into clinical practice.”

Use of chlorhexidine is controversial

Dr Alexandros Besinis, Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering at the School of Engineering, commented: "Current strategies to render the surface of dental implants antibacterial with the aim to prevent infection and peri-implantitis development, include application of antimicrobial coatings loaded with antibiotics or chlorhexidine. However, such approaches are usually effective only in the short-term, and the use of chlorhexidine has also been reported to be toxic to human cells. The significance of our study is that we have successfully applied a dual-layered silver-hydroxyapatite nanocoating to titanium alloy medical implants which helps to overcome these risks.”

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