Potential antibacterial mechanism of silver nanoparticles and the optimization of orthopedic implants by advanced modification technologies

Int J Nanomedicine. 2018 Jun 5;13:3311-3327. doi: 10.2147/IJN.S165125. eCollection 2018.


Infection, as a common postoperative complication of orthopedic surgery, is the main reason leading to implant failure. Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) are considered as a promising antibacterial agent and always used to modify orthopedic implants to prevent infection. To optimize the implants in a reasonable manner, it is critical for us to know the specific antibacterial mechanism, which is still unclear. In this review, we analyzed the potential antibacterial mechanisms of AgNPs, and the influences of AgNPs on osteogenic-related cells, including cellular adhesion, proliferation, and differentiation, were also discussed. In addition, methods to enhance biocompatibility of AgNPs as well as advanced implants modifications technologies were also summarized.

Keywords: antibacterial mechanism; biocompatibility; orthopedic implants; osteogenic-related cells; silver nanoparticles; surface modification.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / chemistry
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Biofilms / drug effects
  • Cell Adhesion / drug effects
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Metal Nanoparticles / administration & dosage
  • Metal Nanoparticles / chemistry*
  • Metal Nanoparticles / therapeutic use
  • Orthopedic Equipment
  • Prostheses and Implants*
  • Silver / chemistry
  • Silver / pharmacology*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Silver