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Investigation of Copper Alloying in a TNTZ-Cux Alloy
Open AccessArticle

Development of Antibacterial Ti-Cux Alloys for Dental Applications: Effects of Ageing for Alloys with Up to 10 wt% Cu

Division of Applied Materials Science, Department of Engineering Sciences, The Ångström Laboratory, Uppsala University, Box 534, 751 21 Uppsala, Sweden
Advanced Materials Division, Mintek, Randburg 2124, South Africa
School of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering, and DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Strong Materials, hosted by the University of the Witswatersrand, Johannesburg 2000, South Africa
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Materials 2019, 12(23), 4017;
Received: 29 October 2019 / Revised: 27 November 2019 / Accepted: 28 November 2019 / Published: 3 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ti-Based Biomaterials: Synthesis, Properties and Applications)
Peri-implantitis, a disease caused by bacteria, affects dental implants in patients. It is widely treated with antibiotics, however, with growing antibiotic resistance new strategies are required. Titanium-copper alloys are prospective antibacterial biomaterials, with the potential to be a remedy against peri-implantitis and antibiotic resistance. The aim of this study was to investigate Ti-Cux alloys, exploring how Cu content (up to 10 wt%) and ageing affect the material properties. Electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, hardness testing, bacteriological culture, and electrochemical testing were employed to characterize the materials. It was found that alloys with above 3 wt% Cu had two phases and ageing increased the volume fraction of Ti2Cu. An un-aged alloy of 5 wt% Cu showed what could be Ti3Cu, in addition to the α-Ti phase. The hardness gradually increased with increased Cu additions, while ageing only affected the alloy with 10 wt% Cu (due to changes in microstructure). Ageing resulted in faster passivation of the alloys. After two hours the aged 10 wt% Cu alloy was the only material with an antibacterial effect, while after six hours, bacteria killing occurred in all alloys with above 5 wt% Cu. In conclusion, it was possible to tune the material and antibacterial properties of Ti-Cux alloys by changing the Cu concentration and ageing, which makes further optimization towards an antibacterial material promising. View Full-Text
Keywords: titanium alloys; copper; Ti2Cu; Ti3Cu; biomaterial; antibacterial titanium alloys; copper; Ti2Cu; Ti3Cu; biomaterial; antibacterial
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MDPI and ACS Style

Fowler, L.; Masia, N.; Cornish, L.A.; Chown, L.H.; Engqvist, H.; Norgren, S.; Öhman-Mägi, C. Development of Antibacterial Ti-Cux Alloys for Dental Applications: Effects of Ageing for Alloys with Up to 10 wt% Cu. Materials 2019, 12, 4017.

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