Mechanical removal of biofilm on titanium discs: An in vitro study

J Biomed Mater Res B Appl Biomater. 2022 May;110(5):1044-1055. doi: 10.1002/jbm.b.34978. Epub 2021 Dec 13.


The objective of this in vitro study was to evaluate surface cleanness and cytocompatibility following mechanical instrumentation of biofilm-contaminated titanium surfaces. Titanium discs (non-modified [Ti(s)] and shot-blasted surfaces [Ti(r)]) contaminated with Streptococcus gordonii were instrumented using four different techniques: (i) gauze soaked in saline (GS), (ii) ultra-sonic device (US), (iii) rotating nickel-titanium brush (TiB), or (iv) air-polishing device (AP). Non-contaminated, untreated titanium disks were used as controls (C). Residual deposits and cytocompatibility for osteoblast-like cells were evaluated using scanning electron microscopy, immunofluorescence, and reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. While the number of residual bacteria on Ti(s) discs was close to 0 in all treatment groups, significantly higher mean numbers of residual bacteria were observed on Ti(r) discs for GS (152.7 ± 75.7) and TiB (33.5 ± 22.2) than for US (0) and AP (0). Instrumentation with US resulted in deposition of foreign material (mean area% of foreign material: 3.0 ± 3.6% and 10.8 ± 9.6% for Ti(s) and Ti(r) discs, respectively). AP was the most effective decontamination procedure in reducing bacteria without depositing residual foreign material on Ti(r) discs. TiB and AP were superior methods in restoring cytocompatibility, although no method of mechanical decontamination resulted in pristine levels of cytocompatibility.

Keywords: cytocompatibility; epigenetics; implant surface; mechanical instrumentation; plaque removal.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria
  • Biofilms
  • Dental Implants*
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Osteoblasts
  • Surface Properties
  • Titanium* / pharmacology


  • Dental Implants
  • Titanium