Recently, efforts have been made to create a transparent ceramic cranial implant comprised of nanocrystalline yttriastabilized zirconia (nc-YSZ) that will provide optical access to the brain. This has been referred to as Window to the Brain (WttB) in the literature. WttB will allow the use of laser and photonic treatments and diagnostics in areas with difficult optical access in the brain. Nevertheless, infection is still one of the frequent cranial implant complications. In most cases a second surgery is required to replace the infected implant. To address potential infections in the WttB platform, we have studied the antibacterial effect of a Zinc Oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles coating on nc-YSZ. After coating with ZnO nanoparticles, the implant was irradiated with infrared femtosecond laser light. We synthesized ZnO nanoparticles through the Laser Ablation of Solids in Liquids (LASL) method, using a Zinc solid target in a liquid medium (water/acetone). Antibacterial coatings were obtained by air brush, using a precursor solution of ZnO nanoparticles in distilled water. Escherichia coli (E. coli) have been used as representative, clinical relevant bacteria to probe the antibacterial effect of the coating. Our previous studies suggested that the use of ZnO nanoparticles inhibit bacterial growth. Laser irradiation treatment alone also offers inhibition of bacterial growth, up to 70%. The incorporation of nanoparticles offers an additional 20% inhibition. Thus, this work represents the next step towards the development of a clinically-oriented transparent cranial implant.
Crysthal Alvarez, Valeria Garcia, Natanael Cuando, and Guillermo Aguilar, "Antibacterial studies of ZnO nanoparticle coatings on nanocrystalline YSZ irradiated with femtosecond laser light," Proc. SPIE 10469, Optical Imaging, Therapeutics, and Advanced Technology in Head and Neck Surgery and Otolaryngology 2018, 104691E (Presented at SPIE BiOS: January 29, 2018; Published: 12 February 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2289412.
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