Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine

, Volume 24, Issue 12, pp 2775–2785 | Cite as

In vitro antimicrobial properties of silver–polysaccharide coatings on porous fiber-reinforced composites for bone implants

  • Sara NgangaEmail author
  • Andrea Travan
  • Eleonora Marsich
  • Ivan Donati
  • Eva Söderling
  • Niko Moritz
  • Sergio Paoletti
  • Pekka K. Vallittu


Biostable fiber-reinforced composite (FRC) implants prepared from bisphenol-A-dimethacrylate and triethyleneglycoldimethacrylate resin reinforced with E-glass fibers have been successfully used in cranial reconstructions in 15 patients. Recently, porous FRC structures were suggested as potential implant materials. Compared with smooth surface, porous surface allows implant incorporation via bone ingrowth, but is also a subject to bacterial attachment. Non-cytotoxic silver–polysaccharide nanocomposite coatings may provide a way to decrease the risk of bacterial contamination of porous FRC structures. This study is focused on the in vitro characterization of the effect porosity on the antimicrobial efficiency of the coatings against Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa by a series of microbiological tests (initial adhesion, antimicrobial efficacy, and biofilm formation). Characterization included confocal laser scanning microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. The effect of porosity on the initial attachment of S. aureus was pronounced, but in the case of P. aeruginosa the effect was negligible. There were no significant effects of the coatings on the initial bacterial attachment. In the antimicrobial efficacy test, the coatings were potent against both strains regardless of the sample morphology. In the biofilm tests, there were no clear effects either of morphology or of the coating. Further coating development is foreseen to achieve a longer-term antimicrobial effect to inhibiting bacterial implant colonization.


Silver Nanoparticles DMAEMA Antimicrobial Efficacy Initial Adhesion Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy Image 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This study was performed in cooperation of the Department of Biomaterials Science at the University of Turku (Finland) ( and the Department of Life Sciences at the University of Trieste (Italy). The authors gratefully acknowledge the Finnish National Doctoral Programme of Musculo-Skeletal Disorders and Biomaterials (TBDP) and the Academy of Finland (BioCity Turku Biomaterials Research Programme) for their financial support. They would also like to thank Gabriele Baj, PhD (University of Trieste) for kind assistance in confocal imaging and Oona Hällfors (University of Turku) for technical assistance with microbiological studies. This study was also supported by the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region (LR 26/2005, art. 23: “R3A2 network”).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sara Nganga
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Andrea Travan
    • 3
  • Eleonora Marsich
    • 4
  • Ivan Donati
    • 3
  • Eva Söderling
    • 1
    • 2
  • Niko Moritz
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sergio Paoletti
    • 3
  • Pekka K. Vallittu
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Prosthetic Dentistry and Biomaterials Science, Institute of DentistryUniversity of TurkuTurkuFinland
  2. 2.Biocity Turku Biomaterials Research ProgramTurku Clinical Biomaterial Centre (TCBC)TurkuFinland
  3. 3.Department of Life SciencesUniversity of TriesteTriesteItaly
  4. 4.Medicine, Surgery and Health Sciences DepartmentUniversity of TriesteTriesteItaly

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