Alternating Current Electrophoretic Deposition for the Immobilization of Antimicrobial Agents on Titanium Implant Surfaces

Annabel Braem, Katrijn De Brucker, Nicolas Delattin, Manuela S. Killian, Maarten B.J. Roeffaers, Tomohiko Yoshioka, Satoshi Hayakawa, Patrik Schmuki, Bruno P.A. Cammue, Sannakaisa Virtanen, Karin Thevissen, Bram Neirinck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


One prominent cause of implant failure is infection; therefore, research is focusing on developing surface coatings that render the surface resistant to colonization by micro-organisms. Permanently attached coatings of antimicrobial molecules are of particular interest because of the reduced cytoxicity and lower risk of developing resistance compared to controlled release coatings. In this study, we focus on the chemical grafting of bioactive molecules on titanium. To concentrate the molecules at the metallic implant surface, we propose electrophoretic deposition (EPD) applying alternating current (AC) signals with an asymmetrical wave shape. We show that for the model molecule bovine serum albumin (BSA), as well as for the clinically relevant antifungal lipopeptide caspofungin (CASP), the deposition yield is drastically improved by superimposing a DC offset in the direction of the high-amplitude peak of the AC signal. Additionally, in order to produce immobilized CASP coatings, this experimental AC/DC-EPD method is combined with an established surface activation protocol. Principle component analysis (PCA) of time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) data confirm the immobilization of CASP with higher yield as compared to a diffusion-controlled process, and higher purity than the clinical CASP starting suspensions. Scratch testing data indicate good coating adhesion. Importantly, the coatings remain active against the fungal pathogen C. albicans as shown by in vitro biofilm experiments. In summary, this paper delivers a proof-of-concept for the application of AC-EPD as a fast grafting tool for antimicrobial molecules without compromising their activities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8533-8546
Number of pages14
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Mar 15 2017


  • alternating current
  • antifungal activity
  • biofilm prevention
  • biofunctionalization
  • caspofungin
  • electrophoretic deposition
  • titanium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)


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