Strontium/zinc phytate-based self-assembled monolayers on titanium surfaces enhance osteogenesis and antibacterial performance in vitro

The accumulation of bacteria over implant surfaces is still the first cause of failure, and the development of antimicrobial surfaces constitutes a first line in implant research. Besides, the durability and mechanical performance of implants, in special in the dental area, are mainly determined by their osseointegration capacity into the maxillofacial bone and the appearance of infections. Consequently, implant osseointegration and infection prophylaxis remain as big challenges to attain so a huge investigation is being developed on the production of bioactive surfaces to achieve improvements in these aspects. In this work we propose the functionalization of titanium surfaces (Ti Cp) with self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) of bioactive organophosphate compounds: phytic acid (Ti-PA) and its metallic phytate derivatives bearing Sr2+ and/or Zn2+ (Ti-SrPhy, Ti-ZnPhy and Ti-SrPhy/ZnPhy) which exhibited tunable in vitro osteogenic, antimicrobial and antioxidant properties in a previous work. Thus, phytate compounds are chemically anchored onto Ti discs through a simple procedure consisting of a condensation reaction promoted by heat treatment. EDS and XPS spectroscopies confirm the obtaining of the modified surfaces and the topographic properties and wettability analysed by SEM, AFM, profilometry and contact angle measurements, respectively, are explored. Additionally, phytate-SAMs do not release any cytotoxic compound after 14 days and stimulate in vitro adhesion and proliferation of human osteoblast cells after 14 days of culture. The osteogenic ability of the modified surfaces evaluated by the quantification of ALP activity and matrix mineralization degree shows a significant improvement with respect to unmodified surfaces. Furthermore, the antimicrobial activity of phytate-SAMs against Streptococcus mutans cultures is evaluated. The count of viable cells and the quantification of produced biofilm are significantly reduced by all phytate-SAMs groups (p < 0.001). Cell membrane integrity studies by LIVE/DEAD staining and SEM imaging confirm a decreased viability of adhered bacteria when phytate-based surfaces are tested, due to a disruption in the function and permeability of the cell membrane. Therefore, phytate-SAMs exhibit suitable in vitro features suggesting their promising potential as bioactive coatings of dental implants.

Asensio, G. et al. Strontium/zinc phytate-based self-assembled monolayers on titanium surfaces enhance osteogenesis and antibacterial performance in vitro. Applied Surface Science 620, 156818 (2023).
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