Effect of implant cleaning on titanium particle dissolution and cytocompatibility

Georgios A. Kotsakis, Rachel Black, Jason Kum, Larissa Berbel, Ali Sadr, Ioannis Karoussis, Mara Simopoulou, Diane Daubert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Peri-implantitis treatments are mainly based on protocols for teeth but have not shown favorable outcomes for implants. The potential role of titanium dissolution products in peri-implantitis necessitate the consideration of material properties in devising treatment protocols. We assessed implant cleaning interventions on (1) bacterial removal from Ti-bound biofilms, (2) Ti surface alterations and related Ti particle dissolution, and (3) cytocompatibility. Methods: Acid-etched Ti discs were inoculated with human peri-implant plaque biofilms and mechanical antimicrobial interventions were applied on the Ti-bound biofilms for 30 seconds each: (1) rotary nylon brush; (2) Ti brush; (3) water-jet on high and (4) low, and compared to sterile, untreated and Chlorhexidine-treated controls. We assessed colony forming units (CFU) counts, biofilm removal, surface changes via scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM), and Ti dissolution via light microscopy and Inductively-coupled Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS). Biological effects of Ti particles and surfaces changes were assessed using NIH/3T3 fibroblasts and MG-63 osteoblastic cell lines, respectively. Results: Sequencing revealed that the human biofilm model supported a diverse biofilm including known peri-implant pathogens. WJ and Nylon brush were most effective in reducing CFU counts (P < 0.01 versus control), whereas Chlorhexidine was least effective; biofilm imaging results were confirmatory. Ti brushes led to visible streaks on the treated surfaces, reduced corrosion resistance and increased Ti dissolution over 30 days of material aging as compared to controls, which increase was amplified in the presence of bacteria (all P-val < 0.05). Ti particles exerted cytotoxic effects against fibroblasts, whereas surfaces altered by Ti brushes exhibited reduced osteoconductivity versus controls (P < 0.05). Conclusions: Present findings support that mechanical treatment strategies selected for implant biofilm removal may lead to Ti dissolution. Ti dissolution should become an important consideration in the clinical selection of peri-implantitis treatments and a necessary criterion for the regulatory approval of instruments for implant hygiene.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)580-591
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of periodontology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2021


  • biofilms
  • cellular microenvironment
  • corrosion
  • dental implants
  • peri-implantitis
  • surface properties
  • titanium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Periodontics


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