• antibacterial activity;
  • cytocompatibility;
  • Cu–Ti–O nanotubes


TiO2 nanotubes (NTs) have favorable biological properties, but the poor antibacterial activity limits their application especially in orthopedics fields. In this article, CuTiO nanotubes with different Cu contents are fabricated on sputtered TiCu films. Scanning electron microscopy reveals the NTs can be formed on sputtered TiCu films when the Cu content is less than 14.6 at %. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy results indicate the NTs are consist of CuO mixed with TiO2 and the Cu content in NTs decreases dramatically compared with that in TiCu films. Biological experiments show that although these NTs have poor release antibacterial activity, their contact antibacterial activity has proven to be excellent, indicating the NT surface can effectively inhibit biomaterial-associated infections. The cytocompatibility of the NTs is closely related to the Cu content and when its content is relatively low (1.01 at %), there is no appreciable cytotoxicity. So CuTiO NTs with 1 at % Cu may be suitable to achieve proper antibacterial activity and desired cytocompatibility. The CuTiO NTs integrate the favorable antibacterial activity of Cu and excellent biological properties of TiO2 NTs therefore have potential applications in orthopedics, dentistry, and other biomedical fields. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part A: 102A: 1850–1858, 2014.