Infection is a potentially serious complication of orthopedic implant surgery. While true for elective surgery, the risk of infection is significantly higher in trauma cases. Silver has been known as a broad-spectrum bactericide for centuries. In this work, we evaluate the use of silver films as bactericidal coatings on titanium-based orthopedic implants. Silver film structure and adhesion properties are presented. The silver films demonstrate bactericidal properties for bacteria that land on the surface of the film, but do little to kill bacteria in a nearby zone. This inability to create a zone of inhibition suggests that pure silver is an inadequate bactericide for orthopedic implants inserted in the medullary canal but may be useful as a coating to prevent bacterial adhesion or colonization.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Surfaces and Interfaces
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Materials Chemistry