In Vitro Bactericidal Efficacy of Nanostructured Ti6Al4V Surfaces is Bacterial Load Dependent

Richard Bright, Andrew Hayles, Daniel Fernandes, Rahul M. Visalakshan, Neethu Ninan, Dennis Palms, Anouck Burzava, Dan Barker, Toby Brown, Krasimir Vasilev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


The demand for medical implants globally has increased significantly due to an aging population amongst other reasons. Despite the overall increase in the survivorship of Ti6Al4V implants, implant infection rates are increasing due to factors such as diabetes, obesity, and bacterial resistance to antibiotics. Two commonly found bacteria implicated in implant infections are Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Based on prior work that showed nanostructured surfaces might have potential in passively killing these bacterial species, we developed a hierarchical, hydrothermally etched, nanostructured titanium surface. To evaluate the antibacterial efficacy of this surface, etched and as-received surfaces were inoculated with S. aureus or P. aeruginosa at concentrations ranging from 102 to 109 colony-forming units per disc. Live/dead staining revealed there was a 60% decrease in viability for S. aureus and greater than a 98% decrease for P. aeruginosa on etched surfaces at the lowest inoculum of 102 CFU/disc, when compared to the control surface. Bactericidal efficiency decreased with increasing bacterial concentrations in a stepwise manner, with decreases in bacterial viability noted for S. aureus above 105 CFU/disc and above 106 CFU/disc for P. aeruginosa. Surprisingly, biofilm depth analysis revealed a decrease in bacterial viability in the 2 μm layer furthest from the nanostructured surface. The nanostructured Ti6Al4V surface developed here holds the potential to reduce the rate of implant infections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38007-38017
Number of pages11
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number32
Publication statusPublished - 18 Aug 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • antibiofilm
  • antimicrobial
  • hydrothermally etched
  • nanospikes
  • nanostructures
  • orthopedic
  • prosthetic joint infection
  • titanium implants


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