Titania nanotube-based local drug delivery is an attractive strategy for combating implant-associated infection. In our previous study, we demonstrated that the gentamicin-loaded nanotubes could dramatically inhibit bacterial adhesion and biofilm formation on implant surfaces. Considering the overuse of antibiotics may lead to the evolution of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, we synthesized a new quaternized chitosan derivative (hydroxypropyltrimethyl ammonium chloride chitosan, HACC) with a 27% degree of substitution (DS; referred to as 27% HACC) that had a strong antibacterial activity and simultaneously good biocompatibility with osteogenic cells. Titania nanotubes with various diameters (80, 120, 160, and 200 nm) and 200 nm length were loaded with 2 mg of HACC using a lyophilization method and vacuum drying. Two standard strain, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus
(American Type Culture Collection 43300) and Staphylococcus epidermidis
(American Type Culture Collection 35984), and two clinical isolates, S. aureus
376 and S. epidermidis
389, were selected to investigate the bacterial adhesion at 6 h and biofilm formation at 24, 48, and 72 h on the HACC-loaded nanotubes (NT-H) using the spread plate method, confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Smooth titanium (Smooth Ti) was also investigated and compared. We found that NT-H could significantly inhibit bacterial adhesion and biofilm formation on its surface compared with Smooth Ti, and the NT-H with 160 nm and 200 nm diameters had stronger antibacterial activity because of the extended HACC release time of NT-H with larger diameters. Therefore, NT-H can significantly improve the antibacterial ability of orthopedic implants and provide a promising strategy to prevent implant-associated infections.
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