Dicationic Imidazolium based ionic liquid coatings on zirconia surfaces: Physical and biological characterization




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Osseointegration and soft tissue seal formation between a dental implant surface and host tissues are important steps in achieving successful implantation. However, factors such as bacterial biofilm adhesion, excessive stresses experienced by an implant during insertion and mastication, and other health-related factors may affect implant stability. Dicationic imidazolium-based ionic liquid (IL) coatings containing amino acids were previously developed for implant surface functionalization. These multi-functional ionic liquid coatings have demonstrated excellent results as surface coatings of titanium in terms of providing the material with anti-biofilm activity, lubrication and corrosion resistance while being compatible with host cells in vitro. The aim of this study was to investigate the possibility of using this technology on the surface of a ceramic material, zirconia, which has been recently introduced in the design of one and two components dental implants. In this work, the physical and biological performance of IL coatings on the surface of zirconia was investigated. In summary, zirconia surfaces coated with two IL compositions were assessed for intermolecular interactions and coating morphology using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and optical microscopy. Coating stability was verified by release profiles using UV-vis spectroscopy. Mammalian and bacterial cell activity were studied on the surface of IL-coated zirconia using osteoblasts and fibroblasts cells and S. salivarius and S. sanguinis, respectively. Finally, wear tests were performed in simulated physiological conditions to determine coefficient of friction and wear volume loss in the presence of IL coatings. Results showed that ILs formed stable coatings on zirconia surfaces. IL containing phenylalanine demonstrated excellent anti-biofilm activity and sustained the conditions for growth and proliferation of host cells. The results of this study indicate that the investigated dicationic imidazolium-based IL coatings constitutes a potential technology for surface enhancement of zirconia dental implants.



Zirconium oxide, Dental implants, Biological interfaces, Coatings, Morphology



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