Lipopolysaccharide inhibits or accelerates biomedical titanium corrosion depending on environmental acidity

Fei Yu, Owen Addison, Stephen J Baker, Alison J Davenport

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)
188 Downloads (Pure)


Titanium and its alloys are routinely used as biomedical implants and are usually considered to be corrosion resistant under physiological conditions. However, during inflammation, chemical modifications of the peri-implant environment including acidification occur. In addition certain biomolecules including lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a component of Gram-negative bacterial cell walls and driver of inflammation have been shown to interact strongly with Ti and modify its corrosion resistance. Gram-negative microbes are abundant in biofilms which form on dental implants. The objective was to investigate the influence of LPS on the corrosion properties of relevant biomedical Ti substrates as a function of environmental acidity. Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry was used to quantify Ti dissolution following immersion testing in physiological saline for three common biomedical grades of Ti (ASTM Grade 2, Grade 4 and Grade 5). Complementary electrochemical tests including anodic and cathodic polarisation experiments and potentiostatic measurements were also conducted. All three Ti alloys were observed to behave similarly and ion release was sensitive to pH of the immersion solution. However, LPS significantly inhibited Ti release under the most acidic conditions (pH 2), which may develop in localized corrosion sites, but promoted dissolution at pH 4-7, which would be more commonly encountered physiologically. The observed pattern of sensitivity to environmental acidity of the effect of LPS on Ti corrosion has not previously been reported. LPS is found extensively on the surfaces of skin and mucosal penetrating Ti implants and the findings are therefore relevant when considering the chemical stability of Ti implant surfaces in vivo.International Journal of Oral Science advance online publication, 30 January 2015; doi:10.1038/ijos.2014.76.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179–186
JournalInternational Journal of Oral Science
Issue number7
Early online date30 Jan 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • corrosion
  • electrochemistry
  • inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry
  • lipopolysaccharide
  • titanium


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