P. Verdeguer et al. Citric Acid in the Passivation of Titanium Dental Implants: Corrosion Resistance and Bactericide Behavior. Materials

P. Verdeguer, J. Gil, M. Punset, J.M. Manero, J. Nart, J. Vilarrasa, E. Ruperez. Citric Acid in the Passivation of Titanium Dental Implants: Corrosion Resistance and Bactericide Behavior. Materials. 2022; 15(2):545. OPEN ACCESS.

doi: doi.org/10.3390/ma15020545ISSN


The passivation of titanium dental implants is performed in order to clean the surface and obtain a thin layer of protective oxide (TiO2) on the surface of the material in order to improve its behavior against corrosion and prevent the release of ions into the physiological environment. The most common chemical agent for the passivation process is hydrochloric acid (HCl), and in this work we intend to determine the capacity of citric acid as a passivating and bactericidal agent. Discs of commercially pure titanium (c.p.Ti) grade 4 were used with different treatments: control (Ctr), passivated by HCl, passivated by citric acid at 20% at different immersion times (20, 30, and 40 min) and a higher concentration of citric acid (40%) for 20 min. Physical-chemical characterization of all of the treated surfaces has been carried out by scanning electronic microscopy (SEM), confocal microscopy, and the ‘Sessile Drop’ technique in order to obtain information about different parameters (topography, elemental composition, roughness, wettability, and surface energy) that are relevant to understand the biological response of the material. In order to evaluate the corrosion behavior of the different treatments under physiological conditions, open circuit potential and potentiodynamic tests have been carried out. Additionally, ion release tests were realized by means of ICP-MS. The antibacterial behavior has been evaluated by performing bacterial adhesion tests, in which two strains have been used: Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Gram–) and Streptococcus sanguinis (Gram+). After the adhesion test, a bacterial viability study has been carried out (‘Life and Death’) and the number of colony-forming units has been calculated with SEM images. The results obtained show that the passivation with citric acid improves the hydrophilic character, corrosion resistance, and presents a bactericide character in comparison with the HCl treatment. The increasing of citric acid concentration improves the bactericide effect but decreases the corrosion resistance parameters. Ion release levels at high citric acid concentrations increase very significantly. The effect of the immersion times studied do not present an effect on the properties.