Stability of antibacterial self-assembled monolayers on hydroxyapatite

Nelson Torres, Sunho Oh, Mark Appleford, David D Dean, James H. Jorgensen, Joo L. Ong, C. Mauli Agrawal, Gopinath Mani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Open fractures are common in battlefields, motor vehicle accidents, gunshot wounds, sports injuries, and high-energy falls. Such fractures are treated using hydroxyapatite (HA)-based bone graft substitutes. However, open fracture wounds are highly susceptible to bacterial infections. Hence, this study was focused on incorporating antibacterial properties to HA using silver (Ag) carrying self-assembled monolayers (SAMs). Also, the stability of Ag carrying SAMs on HA was investigated under sterilization and physiological conditions. Initially, the-COOH terminated phosphonic acid SAMs of two different chain lengths (11 carbon atoms - shorter chain and 16 carbon atoms - longer chain) were deposited on HA. Antibacterial SAMs (ASAMs) were prepared by chemically attaching Ag to shorter and longer chain SAMs coated HA. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy, and contact angle goniometry collectively confirmed the attachment of Ag onto SAMs coated HA. The bacterial adhesion study showed that the adherence of Staphylococcus aureus was significantly reduced on ASAMs coated HA when compared to control-HA. The stability studies showed that gas plasma, dry heat and autoclave degraded most of the ASAMs on HA. UV irradiation did not damage the shorter chain ASAMs as vigorously as other treatments, while it degraded the longer chain ASAMs completely. Ethylene oxide treatment did not degrade the longer chain ASAMs unlike all other treatments but it severely damaged the shorter chain ASAMs. Both shorter and longer chain ASAMs significantly desorbed from the HA surfaces under physiological conditions although longer chain ASAMs exhibited better stability than shorter chain ASAMs. This study demonstrated the potential for using ASAMs to provide antibacterial properties to HA and the need for developing techniques to improve stability of SAMs under sterilization and physiological conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3242-3255
Number of pages14
JournalActa Biomaterialia
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Hydroxyapatite
  • Self-assembled monolayers
  • Surface characterization
  • Surface modification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Biotechnology
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomaterials


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