Zinc and Silver Glass Polyalkenoate Cements: An Evaluation of their Antibacterial Nature


A biofilm is an accumulation of micro-organisms and their extracellular products forming a structured community on a surface. Biofilm formation on medical devices has severe health consequences as bacteria growing in this lifestyle are tolerant to both host defence mechanisms and antibiotic therapies. However, silver and zinc ions inhibit the attachment and proliferation of immature biofilms. The objective of this study is to evaluate whether silver and zinc ions eluted from novel glass polyalkenoate cement (GPC) coatings have the ability to inhibit Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in vivo. A silver and zinc-containing GPC coating was synthesised, deposited onto Ti6Al4V discs and placed in a specified amount of analytical water for 1, 7 and 30 days. The resulting elutes were collected and Atomic absorption spectroscopy was used to measure ion release. The elutes were injected into Galleria mellonella larvae infected with MRSA and the antibacterial properties of these elutes were evaluated in vivo. The majority of the zinc and silver ions were released within the first 24 h; this corresponded with the greatest degree of protection observed in infected larvae. Results were compared to a conventional in vitro model where identical elutes were incubated with MRSA on nutrient agar. These results were consistent with those observed in the larval model, demonstrating a reduction in bacterial viability when co-cultured with elutes for 2 h. This work confirms the promise of the Galleria mellonella as a model for the assessment of antimicrobial agents and demonstrates the capacity of novel silver and zinc-containing GPCs to retard the colonisation of MRSA. © 2010 - IOS Press and the authors.


Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2023 IOS Press, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

23 Jul 2010

PubMed ID