Ionized jet deposition of antimicrobial and stem cell friendly silver-substituted tricalcium phosphate nanocoatings on titanium alloy

Gabriela Graziani, Katia Barbaro, Inna V. Fadeeva, Daniele Ghezzi, Marco Fosca, Enrico Sassoni, Gianluca Vadalà, Martina Cappelletti, Francesco Valle, Nicola Baldini, Julietta V. Rau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Orthopedic infections pose severe societal and economic burden and interfere with the capability of the implanted devices to integrate in the host bone, thus significantly increasing implants failure rate. To address infection and promote integration, here nanostructured antibacterial and bioactive thin films are proposed, obtained, for the first time, by Ionized Jet Deposition (IJD) of silver-substituted tricalcium phosphate (Ag-TCP) targets on titanium. Coatings morphology, composition and mechanical properties are characterized and proof-of-concept of biocompatibility is shown. Antimicrobial efficacy is investigated against four Gram positive and Gram negative bacterial strains and against C. albicans fungus, by investigating the modifications in planktonic bacterial growth in the absence and presence of silver. Then, for all bacterial strains, the capability of the film to inhibit bacterial adhesion is also tested. Results indicate that IJD permits a fine control over films composition and morphology and deposition of films with suitable mechanical properties. Biological studies show a good efficacy against Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Enterococcus faecalis and against fungus Candida albicans, with evidences of efficacy against planktonic growth and significant reduction of bacterial cell adhesion. No cytotoxic effects are evidenced for equine adipose tissue derived mesenchymal stem cells (ADMSCs), as no reductions are caused to cells viability and no interference is assessed in cells differentiation towards osteogenic lineage, in the presence of silver. Instead, thanks to nanostructuration and biomimetic composition, tricalcium phosphate (TCP) coatings favor cells viability, also when silver-substituted. These findings show that silver-substituted nanostructured coatings are promising for orthopedic implant applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2629-2642
Number of pages14
JournalBioactive Materials
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Antibacterial ceramics
  • Antibacterial coatings
  • Nanostructured coatings
  • Orthopedics
  • Silver
  • Tricalcium phosphate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Ionized jet deposition of antimicrobial and stem cell friendly silver-substituted tricalcium phosphate nanocoatings on titanium alloy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this