A dual-functional implant with an enzyme-responsive effect for bacterial infection therapy and tissue regeneration
Biomaterial-associated bacterial infection is one of the major causes of implant failure. The treatment of such an implant infection typically requires the elimination of bacteria and acceleration of tissue regeneration around implants simultaneously. To address this issue, an ideal implanted material should have the dual functions of bacterial infection therapy and tissue regeneration at the same time. Herein, an enzyme-responsive nanoplatform was fabricated in order to treat implant-associated bacterial infection and accelerate tissue regeneration in vivo. Firstly, Ag nanoparticles were pre-encapsulated in mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) by a one-pot method. Then, poly-L-glutamic acid (PG) and polyallylamine hydrochloride (PAH) were assembled by the layer-by-layer (LBL) assembly technique on MSN-Ag to form LBL@MSN-Ag nanoparticles. Furthermore, the LBL@MSN-Ag nanoparticles were deposited on the surface of polydopamine-modified Ti substrates. PG is a homogeneous polyamide composed of an amide linkage, which can be degraded by glutamyl endonuclease secreted by Staphylococcus aureus. Inductively coupled plasma spectroscopy (ICP) results proved that the LBL@MSN-Ag particles show a significant enzyme responsive release of Ag ions. Furthermore, results of antibacterial experiments in vitro showed that the Ti substrates modified with an LBL@MSN-Ag nanocoating presented an excellent antibacterial effect. As for an animal experiment in vivo, in a bacterium infected femur-defect rat model, the modified Ti implants effectively treated bacterial infection. More importantly, the results of micro-CT, haematoxylin–eosin staining and Masson's trichrome staining demonstrated that the modified Ti implants significantly promoted the formation of new bone tissue after implantation for 4 weeks. The present system paves the way for developing the next generation of implants with the functions of treating bacterial infection and promoting tissue regeneration.