Synthesis of multifunctional chlorhexidine-doped thin films for titanium-based implant materials

Adaias Oliveira Matos, Amanda Bandeira de Almeida, Thamara Beline, Caroline C. Tonon, Renato Corrêa Viana Casarin, L. Windsor, Simone Duarte, Francisco Humberto Nociti, Elidiane Cipriano Rangel, Richard Gregory, Valentim Adelino Ricardo Barão

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Our goal was to create bio-functional chlorhexidine (CHX)-doped thin films on commercially pure titanium (cpTi) discs using the glow discharge plasma approach. Different plasma deposition times (50, 35 and 20 min) were used to create bio-functional surfaces based on silicon films with CHX that were compared to the control groups [no CHX and bulk cpTi surface (machined)]. Physico-chemical and biological characterizations included: 1. Morphology, roughness, elemental chemical composition, film thickness, contact angle and surface free energy; 2. CHX-release rate; 3. Antibacterial effect on Streptococcus sanguinis biofilms at 24, 48 and 72 h; 4. Cytotoxicity and metabolic activity using fibroblasts cell culture (NIH-F3T3 cells) at 1, 2, 3 and 4 days; 5. Protein expression by NIH-F3T3 cells at 1, 2, 3 and 4 days; and 6. Co-culture assay of fibroblasts cells and S. sanguinis to assess live and dead cells on the confocal laser scanning microscopy, mitochondrial activity (XTT), membrane leakage (LDH release), and metabolic activity (WST-1 assay) at 1, 2 and 3 days of co-incubation. Data analysis showed that silicon films, with or without CHX coated cpTi discs, increased surface wettability and free energy (p < 0.05) without affecting surface roughness. CHX release was maintained over a 22-day period and resulted in a significant inhibition of biofilm growth (p < 0.05) at 48 and 72 h of biofilm formation for 50 min and 20 min of plasma deposition time groups, respectively. In general, CHX treatment did not significantly affect NIH-F3T3 cell viability (p > 0.05), whereas cell metabolism (MTT assay) was affected by CHX, with the 35 min of plasma deposition time group displaying the lowest values as compared to bulk cpTi (p < 0.05). Moreover, data analysis showed that films, with or without CHX, significantly affected the expression profile of inflammatory cytokines, including IL-4, IL-6, IL-17, IFN-y and TNF-α by NIH-F3T3 cells (p < 0.05). Co-culture demonstrated that CHX-doped film did not affect the metabolic activity, cytotoxicity and viability of fibroblasts cells (p > 0.05). Altogether, the findings of the current study support the conclusion that silicon films added with CHX can be successfully created on titanium discs and have the potential to affect bacterial growth and inflammatory markers without affecting cell viability/proliferation rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number111289
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering C
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • Antibacterial
  • Biocompatible
  • Biofilm
  • Chlorhexidine
  • Titanium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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    Matos, A. O., de Almeida, A. B., Beline, T., Tonon, C. C., Casarin, R. C. V., Windsor, L., Duarte, S., Nociti, F. H., Rangel, E. C., Gregory, R., & Barão, V. A. R. (2020). Synthesis of multifunctional chlorhexidine-doped thin films for titanium-based implant materials. Materials Science and Engineering C, 117, [111289].