Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

MS Pharmaceutical Sciences


Chemistry & Biochemistry


College of Science & Mathematics


Caputo, Gregory

Committee Member 1

Demarest, Renee

Committee Member 2

Keck, Thomas


antimicrobial, orthopedic implant, silver oxide, surface coatings


Coatings; Antibacterial agents; Silver oxide


Biochemistry | Materials Chemistry | Medicinal-Pharmaceutical Chemistry


This study examines applications of sputtered silver coatings as alternatives to traditional antibiotic treatments. Given the increase in reports of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, new treatments and coatings for in-dwelling medical devices such as catheters and orthopedic implants are necessary. Silver oxide films were deposited onto Ti surfaces to examine the efficacy of such coatings against a variety of bacterial species both in vitro and in vivo. Bacterial growth studies showed that coatings exhibited antimicrobial activity against a range of bacterial species acting either in a bacteriostatic or bactericidal mechanism, depending on the target. Limited toxicity to in vitro mammalian cells was evident in the immediate area proximal to the disc and preliminary studies in a murine infection model show the ability of immunocompetent animals to clear silver from the system. In addition, AgO was examined as an additive to silk biopolymers to add antimicrobial activity for future application in liquid bandages. Silver oxide sputtered films were applied to standard bandages to compare their efficacy to that of commercially available antibiotic-loaded bandages. Silver oxide/copper oxide mixtures were sputtered onto high-density polyethylene to determine efficacy and potentially modulate Ag+ release rates. Preliminary results of these studies indicate that AgO-impregnated biopolymers, silver oxide-sputtered silk films, silver bandages and silver oxide/copper oxide mixtures exhibited some efficacy against a variety of bacterial species.