BioHyB: Biohybrid antibacterial coating of surface-modified dental implants made of titanium to prevent bacterial infections

Key Info

Basic Information

01.07.2021 to 30.06.2022
Organizational Unit:
Chair of Manufacturing Technology, Technology Management in Manufacturing
Federal Ministry of Education and Research BMBF

Research partner

    • DWI
    • MeoTec
    • AachenProtenieers



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Peri-implant infections as an implication of implantations represent a high risk for human health. In this context, dental implants made of titanium (Ti), for example, have become essential in modern medical technology as permanent prostheses for missing teeth. They assume the function of natural tooth roots and form the base for fixing artificial tooth in the jaw. Inflammation of the gums near the implant (peri-implant infection) is one of the most common complications after implantation. These are caused mainly by bacterial contamination or bacterial colonization of the implant. In addition to inflammation of the gums, poor osseointegration leads to postoperative complications. To improve osseointegration by increasing the surface area, porous or sponge-like surfaces can be created on the implants using plasma electrolyte oxidation (PEO). However, this enlargement of the implant surface also favors bacterial colonization, which increases the risk of peri-implant infections. Therefore, there is rising pressure to develop solutions for functionalized implants that both promote osseointegration through a functionalized surface and prevent inflammatory reactions, thereby reducing postoperative complications.

The aim of the research project is to provide implant surfaces (using titanium dental implants as an example) with an innovative antibacterial biohybrid coating in combination with microstructuring, which prevents the colonization of bacteria. The use of microstructuring is aimed at increasing the resistance of the coating against external influences such as abrasive wear in order to increase the lifetime of the coating and thus ensure its functionality for as long as possible.

In order to achieve the overall aim of this interdisciplinary project, technologies from biotechnology such as protein engineering, macromolecular chemistry and surface chemistry/physics as well as advanced manufacturing technology are brought together in combination with the know-how of Meotec GmbH as well as the Aachen Proteineers. The project is divided into four work packages (WP). WP1 comprises the identification, development and parameterization of manufacturing technologies for the generation of appropriate surface structures to protect the bioactive function of an antibacterial coating. The combination of these technologies with the PEO coatings improve the osseointegration, too. In WP2, the bioactive building block to generate the antibacterial coating will be developed. The challenge is to develop smart hybrid macromolecules programmed at the molecular level to actively target the Ti surface, adsorb, and generate a nanoscale coating on the one hand, and to confer biocompatibility, prevent fouling, and kill pathogenic bacteria on the other hand. In WP3, the evaluation and optimization of the biological effectiveness of the coating under optimal conditions will be carried out. In AP4, the coating will be applied to the structured components, validated and combined in a final demonstrator (Ti dental implant).

The BioHyB project is a lighthouse project for the production of durable, innovative, surface-functionalized products. The integration of biohybrid, application-specific, tailor-made, functional materials on structured product surfaces will allow difficult-to-control interfaces between, for example, biological and technical components to be made more controllable, safer and more sustainable for application.