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Volume 9, Issue 2, June 2014
Because dental implant abutments are located at transmucosal sites, their surface should inhibit bacterial accumulation to prevent peri-implantitis. The authors examined the effects of human lactoferrin (LF), an antibacterial protein present in saliva, as an antibacterial coating on the titanium surface and evaluated its effects before and after mucin-containing artificial saliva (AS) incubation. In the control group, titanium disks were soaked in distilled water, whereas in the LF group, titanium disks were soaked in LF solution to coat the disks. In the control-AS and LF-AS groups, half of the control and LF disks were incubated with AS. To confirm LF adsorption, the fluorescence intensity of fluorescein isothiocyanate-labeled LF was measured. The LF and LF-AS groups showed significantly higher intensity than the control and control-AS groups (P < 0.01). There was no significant difference between the LF and LF-AS groups (P > 0.05). The amount of adhered Streptococcus gordonii significantly increased by incubation with AS (P < 0.01) and significantly decreased by adsorption of LF (P < 0.01). There was no interaction between the two factors, LF adsorption and AS incubation (P = 0.561). These results suggest that the adsorbed LF inhibited bacterial adhesion following AS incubation. According to qualitative LIVE/DEAD analysis, viable bacteria appeared to be decreased in the presence of LF and SEM observation indicated that altered morphologies increased in LF and LF-AS groups. These results suggest that the adsorbed LF remained on the titanium surface after incubation with AS, and the remaining LF inhibited bacterial adhesion and exhibited bactericidal effects. Therefore, the adsorption of LF on the abutment material appears to be effective in preventing peri-implantitis.