The effects of blood conditioning films on the antimicrobial and retention properties of zirconium-nitride silver surfaces

Anthony J. Slate, David Wickens, Joels Wilson-Nieuwenhuis, Nina Dempsey-Hibbert, Glen West, Peter Kelly, Joanna Verran, Craig E. Banks, Kathryn A. Whitehead

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (SciVal)


External bone fixation devices provide support and rehabilitation for severely damaged/broken bones, however, this invasive procedure is prone to infection. Zirconium nitride/silver (Ti-ZrN/Ag) coatings were characterised for surface topography, chemical composition, physicochemistry and antimicrobial efficacy (against Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis), in the presence of a blood conditioning film. The conditioning film altered the width of the microtopography of the surfaces however, the depth of the features remained relatively constant. The conditioning film also altered the coatings from hydrophobic to hydrophilic/partially hydrophilic surfaces. Following the MATH assay, the presence of a conditioning film reduced affinity towards the hydrocarbons for both microorganisms. The addition of a blood conditioning film reduced the antimicrobial efficacy of the Ti-ZrN/Ag coatings but also reduced the number of retained bacteria. This study suggests that the presence of a pre-defined blood conditioning film may result in surfaces with anti-adhesive properties, potentially leading to a reduction in bacterial retention. This, combined with the antimicrobial efficacy of the coatings, could reduce the risk of infection on biomaterial surfaces.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-311
Number of pages9
JournalColloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces
Early online date26 Sept 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • Antimicrobial efficacy
  • Blood conditioning films
  • External bone fixation pins
  • Physicochemistry
  • Silver
  • Zirconium nitride

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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