A silica-based sol-gel antibacterial coating has been prepared, and its performance has been compared with an antibacterial hydroxyapatite-based coating when applied to Ti6Al4V alloy. The antibacterial functionality has been provided by silver nanoparticles (Ag NPs) deposited after Ag+ reduction. This reduction was achieved by a low-temperature treatment in the case of the silica-based coating (<100 °C) and with high temperature in the case of the hydroxyapatite one (500 °C). Field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) showed a better and more homogeneous distribution of Ag NPs on the coating in the case of the silica coating. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) characterization with a 1 nm diameter tip showed the formation of Ag NPs with a diameter of around 30 nm. Ag+ release in simulated body fluid at 37 °C, measured by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), showed a continued release of Ag+ with time, achieving 2.68 mg Ag+/L after 40 days in the case of silica-based coating (approximately a fivefold when compared to hydroxyapatite (HA) coating). Antibacterial activity for both coatings was tested against Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis, showing a 99.9% lethality compared to the sol-gel coatings without Ag NPs. The silica-based coating combines the advantages of low-temperature synthesis, excellent distribution of Ag NPs, good antibacterial properties, and sustained release for 40 days.
Silica-based antibacterial coatings with silver nanoparticles have been obtained by sol-gel.
Silver nanoparticles (Ag NPs) are generated at low temperature (80 °C).
Ag NPs are synthesized due to a redox reaction between Ag+ with GPTMS as observed by FTIR.
Atomic force microscopy showed the formation of 30 nm diameter Ag NPs on the surface.
Transmission electron microscopy showed the formation of Ag NPs inside the coating.
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J. Belda is gratefully acknowledged for carrying out ICP-MS measurements. The Electron Microscopy Service of the UPV (Universitat Politècnica de València) is gratefully acknowledged for help with FESEM and EDX characterization. Instituto de Tecnología Química is gratefully acknowledged for carrying out XRD measurements.
This work was supported by the Instituto Valenciano de Competitividad Empresarial (IVACE) (project reference IMDEEA/2019/10) and the European Union (FEDER).
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Molina, J., Valero-Gómez, A., Pocoví-Martínez, S. et al. Simple and effective sol-gel methodology to obtain a bactericidal coating for prostheses. J Sol-Gel Sci Technol 108, 809–826 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10971-023-06237-0