The Beneficial Mechanical and Biological Outcomes of Thin Copper-Gallium Doped Silica-Rich Bio-Active Glass Implant-Type Coatings


Silica-based bioactive glasses (SBG) hold great promise as bio-functional coatings of metallic endo-osseous implants, due to their osteoproductive potential, and, in the case of designed formulations, suitable mechanical properties and antibacterial efficacy. In the framework of this study, the FastOs(R)BG alkali-free SBG system (mol%: SiO2-38.49, CaO-36.07, P2O5-5.61, MgO-19.24, CaF2-0.59), with CuO (2 mol%) and Ga2O3 (3 mol%) antimicrobial agents, partially substituting in the parent system CaO and MgO, respectively, was used as source material for the fabrication of intentionally silica-enriched implant-type thin coatings (similar to 600 nm) onto titanium (Ti) substrates by radio-frequency magnetron sputtering. The physico-chemical and mechanical characteristics, as well as the in vitro preliminary cytocompatibility and antibacterial performance of an alkali-free silica-rich bio-active glass coating designs was further explored. The films were smooth (R-RMS < 1 nm) and hydrophilic (water contact angle of similar to 65 degrees). The SBG coatings deposited from alkali-free copper-gallium co-doped FastOs(R)BG-derived exhibited improved wear performance, with the coatings eliciting a bonding strength value of similar to 53 MPa, Lc3 critical load value of similar to 4.9 N, hardness of similar to 6.1 GPa and an elastic modulus of similar to 127 GPa. The Cu and Ga co-doped SBG layers had excellent cytocompatibility, while reducing after 24 h the Staphylococcus aureus bacterial development with 4 orders of magnitude with respect to the control situations (i.e., nutritive broth and Ti substrate). Thereby, such SBG constructs could pave the road towards high-performance bio-functional coatings with excellent mechanical properties and enhanced biological features (e.g., by coupling cytocompatibility with antimicrobial properties), which are in great demand nowadays.



subject category

Materials Science


Stan, GE; Tite, T; Popa, AC; Chirica, IM; Negrila, CC; Besleaga, C; Zgura, I; Sergentu, AC; Popescu-Pelin, G; Cristea, D; Ionescu, LE; Necsulescu, M; Fernandes, HR; Ferreira, JMF

our authors


This research was funded by Romanian National Authority for Scientific Research and Innovation (CNCS-UEFISCDI) in the framework of project PN-III-P1-1.1-TE-2016-1501. J.M.F.F. is thankful for the financial support from CICECO-Aveiro Institute of Materials and FCT Ref. UID/CTM/50011/2019 grant, financed through the FCT/MCTES.

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