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Multifunctional nature of UV-irradiated nanocrystalline anatase thin films for biomedical applications

: Rupp, F.; Haupt, M.; Klostermann, H.; Kim, H.-S.; Eichler, M.; Peetsch, A.; Scheideler, L.; Doering, C.; Oehr, C.; Wendel, H.-P.; Sinn, S.; Decker, E.; Ohle, C. von; Geis-Gerstorfer, J.


Acta biomaterialia 6 (2010), No.12, pp.4566-4577
ISSN: 1742-7061
ISSN: 1878-7568
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IGB ()
Fraunhofer FEP ()

Anatase is known to decompose organic material by photocatalysis and to enhance surface wettability once irradiated by ultraviolet (UV) light. In this study, pulse magnetron-sputtered anatase thin films were investigated for their suitability with respect to specific biomedical applications, namely superhydrophilic and biofilm degrading implant surfaces. UV-induced hydrophilicity was quantified by static and dynamic contact angle analysis. Photocatalytic protein decomposition was analyzed by quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation. The surfaces were characterized by X-ray diffraction, atomic force microscopy, scanning electron microscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The radical formation on anatase, responsible for photocatalytic effects, was analyzed by electron spin resonance spectroscopy. Results have shown that the nanocrystalline anatase films, in contrast to reference titanium surfaces, were sensitive to UV irradiation and showed rapid switching towards superhydrophilicity. The observed decrease in carbon adsorbents and the increase in the fraction of surface hydroxyl groups upon UV irradiation might contribute to this hydrophilic behavior. UV irradiation of anatase pre-conditioned with albumin protein layers induces the photocatalytic decomposition of these model biofilms. The observed degradation is mainly caused by hydroxyl radicals. It is concluded that nanocrystalline anatase films offer different functions at implant interfaces, e.g. bedside hydrophilization of anatase-coated implants for improved osseointegration or the in situ decomposition of conditioning films forming the basal layer of biofilms in the oral cavity.