Long-term antibacterial properties of a nanostructured titanium alloy surface: An in vitro study

Richard Bright, Daniel Fernandes, Jonathan Wood, Dennis Palms, Anouck Burzava, Neethu Ninan, Toby Brown, Dan Barker, Krasimir Vasilev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)
43 Downloads (Pure)


The demand for joint replacement and other orthopedic surgeries involving titanium implants is continuously increasing; however, 1%–2% of surgeries result in costly and devastating implant associated infections (IAIs). Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus are two common pathogens known to colonise implants, leading to serious complications. Bioinspired surfaces with spike-like nanotopography have previously been shown to kill bacteria upon contact; however, the longer-term potential of such surfaces to prevent or delay biofilm formation is unclear. Hence, we monitored biofilm formation on control and nanostructured titanium disc surfaces over 21 days following inoculation with Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus. We found a consistent 2-log or higher reduction in live bacteria throughout the time course for both bacteria. The biovolume on nanostructured discs was also significantly lower than control discs at all time points for both bacteria. Analysis of the biovolume revealed that for the nanostructured surface, bacteria was killed not just on the surface, but at locations above the surface. Interestingly, pockets of bacterial regrowth on top of the biomass occurred in both bacterial species, however this was more pronounced for S. aureus cultures after 21 days. We found that the nanostructured surface showed antibacterial properties throughout this longitudinal study. To our knowledge this is the first in vitro study to show reduction in the viability of bacterial colonisation on a nanostructured surface over a clinically relevant time frame, providing potential to reduce the likelihood of implant associated infections.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100176
Number of pages12
JournalMaterials Today Bio
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Antibacterial
  • Biofilm
  • Biomimetic
  • Implant associated infections
  • Implant infection
  • Nanoprotrusions
  • Nanospikes
  • Nanostructures
  • Orthopedic


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