Mechanical testing of antimicrobial biocomposite coating on metallic medical implants as drug delivery system

Ipek Karacan, Besim Ben-Nissan, Hang Andy Wang, Arion Juritza, Michael Swain, Wolfgang Mueller, Joshua Chu, Artemis Stamboulis, Innocent Macha, Valerio Taraschi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
258 Downloads (Pure)


Post-operative infection often occurs following orthopedic and dental implant placement requiring systemically administered antibiotics. However, this does not provide long-term protection. Over the last few decades, alternative methods involving slow drug delivery systems based on biodegradable poly-lactic acid and antibiotic loaded hydroxyapatite microspheres were developed to prevent post-operative infection. In this study, thermally anodised and untreated Ti6Al4V discs were coated with Poly-Lactic Acid (PLA) containing Gentamicin (Gm) antibiotic-loaded coralline Hydroxyapatite (HAp) are investigated. Following chemical characterization, mechanical properties of the coated samples were measured using nanoindentation and scratch tests to determine the elastic modulus, hardness and bonding adhesion between film and substrate. It was found that PLA biocomposite multilayered films were around 400 nm thick and the influence and effect of the substrate were clearly observed during the nanoindentation studies with heavier loads. Scratch tests of PLA coated samples conducted at ~160 nm depth showed the minimal difference in the measured friction between Gm and non Gm containing films. It is also observed that the hardness values of PLA film coated anodised samples ranged from 0.45 to 1.9 GPa (dependent on the applied loads) against untreated coated samples which ranged from 0.28 to 0.8 GPa.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109757
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering C
Early online date24 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019


  • Antimicrobial
  • Hydroxyapatite
  • Nano-coating
  • Nanoindentation
  • Scratch tests
  • Thin films
  • Ti6Al4V-PLA-HAp biocomposite

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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