• peri-implant infection;
  • calcium phosphate coating;
  • antimicrobial peptide;
  • bone growth;
  • titanium;
  • orthopedic implants


Preventing infection is one of the major challenges in total hip and joint arthroplasty. The main concerns of local drug delivery as a solution have been the evolution of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and the potential inhibition of osseointegration caused by the delivery systems. This work investigated the in vitro drug release, antimicrobial performance, and cytotoxicity, as well as the in vivo bone growth of an antimicrobial peptide loaded into calcium phosphate coated Ti implants in a rabbit model. Two potent AMP candidates (HHC36: KRWWKWWRR, Tet213: KRWWKWWRRC) were first investigated through an in vitro cytotoxicity assay. MTT absorbance values revealed that HHC36 showed much lower cytotoxicity (minimal cytotoxic concentration 200 μg/mL) than Tet 213 (50 μg/mL). The AMP HHC36 loaded onto CaP (34.7 ± 4.2 μg/cm2) had a burst release during the first few hours followed by a slow and steady release for 7 days as measured spectrophotometrically. The CaP-AMP coatings were antimicrobial against Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains in colony-forming units (CFU) in vitro assays. No cytotoxicity was observed on CaP-AMP samples against MG-63 osteoblast-like cells after 5 days in vitro. In a trabecular bone growth in vivo study using cylindrical implants, loading of AMP HHC36 did not impair bone growth onto the implants. Significant bone on-growth was observed on CaP-coated Ti with or without HHC36 loading, as compared with Ti alone. The current AMP-CaP coating thus offers in vivo osteoconductivity to orthopedic implants. It also offers in vitro antimicrobial property, with its in vivo performance to be confirmed in future animal infection models. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part B: Appl Biomater, 2012.