Antimicrobial effects of metal ions (Ag+, Cu2+, Zn2+) in hydroxyapatite

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The antimicrobial ceramics (AC) based on hydroxyapatite (HA) were made in a wet chemical process with additions of AgNO3, Cu(NO3)2 · 3H2O and Zn(NO3)2 · 6H2O. The ACs were composed of metal-ion substituted hydroxyapatite and nitrate-apatite, which was identified by X-ray diffraction. The viable count and turbidity measurement was adopted to observe the antimicrobial effects of the various ACs. The aerobic Escherichia coli was used in the study. An obvious antimicrobial effect against E. coli was observed in Ag+ AC. In contrast to Ag+ AC, it was difficult to ascertain any bactericidal effect in the case of Cu2+ and Zn2+ AC. The bactericidal effect of Ag+ was observed using a dialysis tube experiment. This suggests that Ag+ dissolved out and reacted with E. coli, thus inhibiting its growth.

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