Skip to main content

Bactericidal effects of bioactive glasses on clinically important aerobic bacteria


Bioactive glasses (BAGs) have been studied for decades for clinical use, and they have found many dental and orthopedic applications. BAGs have also been shown to have an antibacterial effect e.g., on some oral microorganisms. In this extensive work we show that six powdered BAGs and two sol–gel derived materials have a clear antibacterial effect on 29 clinically important bacterial species. We also incorporated a rapid and accurate flow cytometric (FCM) method to calculate and standardize the numbers of viable bacteria inoculated in the suspensions used in the tests for antibacterial activity. In all materials tested growth inhibition could be demonstrated, although the concentration and time needed for the effect varied depending on the BAG. The most effective glass was S53P4, which had a clear growth-inhibitory effect on all pathogens tested. The sol–gel derived materials CaPSiO and CaPSiO II also showed a strong antibacterial effect. In summary, BAGs were found to clearly inhibit the growth of a wide selection of bacterial species causing e.g., infections on the surfaces of prostheses in the body after implantation.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3


  1. L. L. HENCH and H. A. PASCHALL, J. Biomed. Mater. Res. 7 (1973) 25

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. L. L. HENCH and Ö. ANDERSSON, An introduction to bioceramics (Singapore: World Scientific Publishing Co, 1993) p. 41

  3. Ö. H. ANDERSSON, J. ROSENQVIST and K. H. KARLSSON, J. Biomed. Mater. Res. 27 (1993) 941

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. P. STOOR, E. SÖDERLING and J. I. SALONEN, Acta Odontol. Scand. 56 (1998) 161

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. J. SAWAI, J. Microbiol. Methods 54 (2003) 177

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. M. CATAURO, M. G. RAUCCI, F. De GAETANO and A. MAROTTA, J. Mater. Sci. Mater. Med. 15 (2004) 831

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. J. PRATTEN, S. N. NAZHAT, J. J. BLAKER and A. R. BOCCACCINI, J. Biomater. Appl. 19 (2004) 47

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. H. ARSTILA, L. FRÖBERG, L. HUPA, E. VEDEL, H. YLÄNEN and M. HUPA, Glass Technol. 46 (2005) 138

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. T. PELTOLA, M. JOKINEN, H. RAHIALA, E. LEVÄNEN, J. B. ROSENHOLM, I. KANGASNIEMI and A. YLI-URPO, J. Biomed. Mater. Res. 44 (1999) 12

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. H. YLI-URPO, T. NÄRHI and E. SÖDERLING, Acta Odontol. Scand. 61 (2003) 241

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. M. ZEHNDER, E. SÖDERLING, J. SALONEN and T. WALTIMO, J. Endodon. 30 (2004) 220

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. O. YAMAMOTO, J. SAWAI, H. KOJIMA and T. SASAMOTO, J. Mater. Sci. Mater. Med. 13 (2002) 789

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  13. I. ALLAN, H. NEWMAN and M. WILSON, Biomaterials 22 (2001) 1683

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  14. I. ALLAN, H. NEWMAN and M. WILSON, Clin. Oral Implants Res. 13 (2002) 53

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. J. VAAHTOVUO, M. KORKEAMÄKI, E. MUNUKKA, M. K. VILJANEN and P. TOIVANEN, J. Microbiol. Methods 63 (2005) 276

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  16. L. BOULOS, M. PREVOST, B. BARBEAU, J. COALLIER and R. DESJARDINS, J. Microbiol. Methods 37 (1999) 77

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references


This study was supported by the National Technology Agency of Finland (TEKES).

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Eveliina Munukka.

Additional information

E. Munukka and O. Leppäranta contributed equally to this work.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Munukka, E., Leppäranta, O., Korkeamäki, M. et al. Bactericidal effects of bioactive glasses on clinically important aerobic bacteria. J Mater Sci: Mater Med 19, 27–32 (2008).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


  • Propidium Iodide
  • Bioactive Glass
  • Neisseria Meningitidis
  • Yersinia Enterocolitica
  • Moraxella Catarrhalis