The effect of silver or gallium doped titanium against the multidrug resistant Acinetobacter baumannii

Biomaterials. 2016 Feb;80:80-95. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2015.11.042. Epub 2015 Dec 2.


Implant-related infection of biomaterials is one of the main causes of arthroplasty and osteosynthesis failure. Bacteria, such as the rapidly-emerging Multi Drug Resistant (MDR) pathogen Acinetobacter Baumannii, initiate the infection by adhering to biomaterials and forming a biofilm. Since the implant surface plays a crucial role in early bacterial adhesion phases, titanium was electrochemically modified by an Anodic Spark Deposition (ASD) treatment, developed previously and thought to provide osseo-integrative properties. In this study, the treatment was modified to insert gallium or silver onto the titanium surface, to provide antibacterial properties. The material was characterized morphologically, chemically, and mechanically; biological properties were investigated by direct cytocompatibility assay, Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP) activity, Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), and Immunofluorescent (IF) analysis; antibacterial activity was determined by counting Colony Forming Units, and viability assay. The various ASD-treated surfaces showed similar morphology, micrometric pore size, and uniform pore distribution. Of the treatments studied, gallium-doped specimens showed the best ALP synthesis and antibacterial properties. This study demonstrates the possibility of successfully doping the surface of titanium with gallium or silver, using the ASD technique; this approach can provide antibacterial properties and maintain high osseo-integrative potential.

Keywords: Acinetobacter baumannii; Anodic spark deposition; Biofilm; Gallium; Silver; Titanium.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acinetobacter Infections / etiology
  • Acinetobacter Infections / prevention & control*
  • Acinetobacter baumannii / drug effects*
  • Acinetobacter baumannii / physiology
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / chemistry
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Bacterial Adhesion / drug effects
  • Biofilms / drug effects
  • Cell Line
  • Coated Materials, Biocompatible / chemistry
  • Coated Materials, Biocompatible / pharmacology*
  • Drug Resistance, Multiple
  • Gallium / chemistry
  • Gallium / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Prostheses and Implants / adverse effects
  • Silver / chemistry
  • Silver / pharmacology*
  • Surface Properties
  • Titanium / chemistry


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Coated Materials, Biocompatible
  • Silver
  • Gallium
  • Titanium