Antibacterial films for medical applications grown by atmospheric pressure plasma deposition

Elisabeth Jäger

Research output: ThesisDiploma Thesis

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Implants like surgical nails, screws and plates are commonly used to fixate fractured bones to ensure a successful healing process. If any part of the healing sequence is affected by microorganisms causing an inflammation, the healing process will be extended radically. One possible solution to protect the patient from infection, sepsis and putrefaction is to coat the implant with films containing antiseptic elements like zinc (Zn) or copper (Cu). The aim of this study was to investigate the antibacterial effect of Cu- or Zn-doped silicon oxide films, grown by atmospheric pressure chemical vapour deposition (APCVD), against Escherichia coli and the cytotoxic activities against mouse calvaria derived cell line (MC 3T3-E1). Characterisation of the film microstructure, chemical composition analysis and washing tests and sterilisations tests were performed to understand the antibacterial performance of the films with various Cu and Zn content. The formation of Cu- and Zn-containing particles of various sizes during deposition, homogenously distributed on the film surface, was shown to be responsible for the antibacterial effect of these films. The bacteria are killed within some hours after exposing to the film surface. While the strongest antibacterial effect due to the release of Cu and Zn to the bacteria cell was observed within the first three days after the exposure, completely inhibiting the cell growth, it is slightly reduced in next days as indicated by a local unhampered cell growth. Furthermore, no cytotoxic effect was observed for all films which indicate cytocompatibility of SiOx + Zn and SiOx +Cu films. These results imply a high potential of these films to be used in antibacterial applications.
Translated title of the contributionAntiseptische mit Hilfe von Atmosphärendruckplasmen abgeschiedene Schichten für medizinische Anwendungen
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Montanuniversität
  • Mitterer, Christian, Supervisor (internal)
  • Schmidt, Jürgen, Co-Supervisor (external), External person
  • Daniel, Rostislav, Co-Supervisor (internal)
  • Pfuch, Andreas, Supervisor (external), External person
Award date4 Apr 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

embargoed until null


  • silicon oxide film
  • zinc
  • copper
  • antibacterial
  • implants

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