Silver oxide‐containing hydroxyapatite coating supports osteoblast function and enhances implant anchorage strength in rat femurShuichi Eto Hiroshi Miyamoto Takeo Shobuike Iwao Noda Takayuki Akiyama Masatsugu Tsukamoto Masaya Ueno Shinsuke Someya Shunsuke Kawano Motoki Sonohata Masaaki Mawatari
Antibacterial silver with hydroxyapatite (Ag–HA) is a promising coating material for imparting antibacterial properties to implants. We previously reported that 3% (w/w) silver with HA (3% Ag–HA) has both antibacterial activity and osteoconductivity. In this study, we investigated the effects of Ag–HA on the in vitro osteoblast function and the in vivo anchorage strength and osteoconductivity of implants. Production of the osteoblast marker alkaline phosphatase, but not cytotoxicity, was observed in cells of the osteoblast cell line MC3T3‐E1 cultured on the 3% Ag–HA‐coated surface. These results were similar to those observed with silver‐free HA coating. In contrast, a significant high level of cytotoxicity was observed when the cells were cultured on a 50% Ag–HA‐coated surface. The anchorage strength of implants inserted into the femur of Sprague–Dawley (SD) rats was enhanced by coating the implants with 3% Ag–HA. On the 3% Ag–HA‐coated surface, both metaphyseal and diaphyseal areas were largely covered with new bone and had adequate osteoconductivity. These results suggest that 3% Ag–HA, like conventional HA, promotes osteogenesis by supporting osteoblast viability and function and thereby contributes to sufficient anchorage strength of implants. Application of 3% Ag–HA, which combines the osteoconductivity of HA and the antibacterial activity of silver, to prosthetic joints will help prevent postoperative infections.