Gentamicin loaded TiO2 nanotubes as improved antimicrobial surfaces for orthopaedic implants

Roberto Chiesa, Lorenza Draghi, Valeria Preda, Monica Moscatelli, Matteo Santin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Titanium oxide nanotube arrays are extremely promising materials for localized drug delivery in orthopaedic implants because of their excellent properties and facile preparation. TiO2 nanotubes act as an effective drug reservoir for localized drug delivery and promote faster tissue regeneration, effective osseointegration while, at the same time, preventing bacterial adhesion and implant infection.
Here, highly ordered TiO2 nanotubes (NTs) were synthesized by electrochemical anodization of Ti sheets and the process voltage was varied to obtain surfaces with different NTs diameters.
The effect of NTs dimension on cell and bacterial adhesion and on gentamicin loading and release was assessed. Anodization was confirmed an easy and effective method to prepare highly ordered, open top nanotubes with predictable diameter as a function of
imposed voltage.
A lower number of bacteria Staphylococcus Aureus adhesion was found to be reduced on NTs surfaces and on smaller nanotubes in particular. When gentamicin was loaded, protracted release and antibacterial action was observed and bacteria were not observed, either in planktonic or adhered. Moreover, higher cell proliferation and a more favourable cell morphology were observed on smaller nanotubes, to further support the indication toward a reduction in NTs diameter for the preparation of
effective implant surfaces.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFrontiers in materials
Publication statusPublished - 24 Sep 2020

Bibliographical note

© 2020 Chiesa, Draghi, Preda, Moscatelli and Santin. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.


  • Nanotubes
  • Titanium oxide
  • Drug delivery
  • anodization
  • Antibacteral

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