eCM (Eur Cell Mater / e Cells & Materials) Not-for-Profit Open Access
Created by Scientists, for Scientists
 ISSN:1473-2262         NLM:100973416 (link)         DOI:10.22203/eCM

2020   Volume No 39 – pages 249-259

Title: Osseointegration of titanium implants with a novel silver coating under dynamic loading

Authors: S Stein, L Kruck, D Warnecke, A Seitz, L Dürselen, A Ignatius

Address: Institute of Orthopaedic Research and Biomechanics, Centre for Trauma Research Ulm, Ulm University Medical Centre, Ulm, Germany

E-mail: anita.ignatius at

Abstract: Postoperative implant-associated infections are a severe complication in orthopaedics and trauma surgery. To address this problem, a novel implant coating was recently developed, which allows for the release of low concentrations of bactericidal silver. For an intended use on load-bearing endoprostheses, stable bone integration is required. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the biocompatibility and osseointegration of titanium implants with the novel coating in a mechanically loaded bone-defect model in sheep.
       Silver-coated devices were implanted into weight-bearing and non-weight-bearing tibial and femoral bone defects whereas, in the control group, uncoated titanium implants were inserted. The bony integration of the implants was assessed mechanically and histologically after 6 months. Silver concentrations were assessed in peripheral blood, liver, kidney and local draining lymph nodes as well as at the implantation site.
       After 6 months, shear strength at the interface and bone apposition to the implant surface were not significantly different between coated and uncoated devices. Mechanical loading reduced bony integration independently of the coating. Silver content at the implantation site was larger in the group with silver-coated implants, yet it remained below toxic levels and no cytotoxic side effects were observed.
       Concluding, the novel antibacterial silver coating did not negatively influence bone regeneration or implant integration under mechanically unloaded and even loaded conditions, suggesting that the silver coating might be suitable for orthopaedic load-bearing implants, including endoprostheses.

Key Words: Silver, antibacterial coatings, orthopaedic implants, load-bearing implants, periprosthetic infections, postoperative infections.

Publication date: June 30th 2020

Article download: Pages 249-259 (PDF file)

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