Antimicrobial acrylic materials with in situ generated silver nanoparticles

James D. Oei, William W. Zhao, Lianrui Chu, Mauris N. Desilva, Abishek Ghimire, H. Ralph Rawls, Kyumin Whang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) is widely used to treat traumatic head injuries (cranioplasty) and orthopedic injuries (bone cement), but there is a problem with implant-centered infections. With organisms such as Acinetobacter baumannii and methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus developing resistance to antibiotics, there is a need for novel antimicrobial delivery mechanisms without risk of developing resistant organisms. Objectives: To develop a novel antimicrobial implant material by generating silver nanoparticles (AgNP) in situ in PMMA. Results: All PMMA samples with AgNP's (AgNP-PMMA) released Ag + ions in vitro for over 28 days. In vitro antimicrobial assays revealed that these samples (even samples with the slowest release rate) inhibited 99.9% of bacteria against four different strains of bacteria. Long-term antimicrobial assay showed a continued antibacterial effect past 28 days. Some AgNP-loaded PMMA groups had comparable Durometer-D hardness (a measure of degree of cure) and modulus to control PMMA, but all experimental groups had slightly lower ultimate transverse strengths. Conclusions: AgNP-PMMA demonstrated a tremendously broad-spectrum and long-intermediate-term antimicrobial effect with comparable mechanical properties to control PMMA. Current efforts are focused on further improving mechanical properties by reducing AgNP loading and assessing fatigue properties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)409-415
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part B Applied Biomaterials
Volume100 B
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2012


  • antimicrobial
  • bone cement
  • cranioplasty
  • polymethyl methacrylate
  • silver nanoparticles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomaterials


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