Antibacterial activity of zinc modified titanium oxide surface

P. Petrini, C. R. Arciola, I. Pezzali, S. Bozzini, L. Montanaro, M. C. Tanzi, P. Speziale, Livai Visai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Titanium-based implants are successfully used for various biomedical applications. However, in some cases, e.g. in dental implants, failures due to bacterial colonization are reported. Surface modification is a commonly proposed strategy to prevent infections. In this work, titanium oxide, naturally occurring on the surface of titanium, was modified by promoting the formation of a mixed titanium and zinc oxide, on the basis of the idea that zinc oxide on titanium surface may act as the zinc oxide used in pharmaceutical formulation for its lenitive and antibacterial effects. The present work shows that it is possible to form a mixed titanium and zinc oxide on titanium surfaces, as shown by Scanning Electron Microscopy and XPS analysis. To this end titanium was preactivated by UV on crystalline titanium oxide, both in the anatase form or in the co-presence of anatase and rutile. By performing antibacterial assays, we provide evidence of a significant reduction in the viability of five streptococcal oral strains on titanium oxide surfaces modified with zinc. In conclusion, this type of chemical modification of titanium oxide surfaces with zinc might be considered a new way to reduce the risk of bacterial colonization, increasing the lifetime of dental system applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)434-442
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Artificial Organs
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2006


  • Anatase
  • Antibacterial activity
  • Biofilm formation
  • Oral streptococcal strains
  • Rutile
  • Titanium
  • Zinc oxide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics


Dive into the research topics of 'Antibacterial activity of zinc modified titanium oxide surface'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this