Titanium (Ti) is among the most widely used implant materials in dentistry today. The success of Ti implants is associated with their interactions with the surrounding tissues and biological fluids. In the present study, the adsorption of salivary proteins to Ti and the effect of calcium (Ca) on this process were investigated. Untreated and Ca-treated Ti powders were suspended in human clarified whole saliva. After incubation, the supernatant fluid was collected for protein analysis. The powders were then washed and resuspended in EDTA to desorb proteins from Ti surfaces. Sodium dodecylsulphate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and Bradford protein assay were conducted to determine the concentration and type of proteins that adsorbed onto Ti surfaces. The presence of Ca ions enhanced the adsorption of salivary proteins to Ti. A 66 kDa protein, identified by immunoblotting as albumin, was found as the main adsorbed salivary protein. Adsorption of albumin to Ti pretreated with Ca was significantly greater than to native Ti. The Ca-dependent adsorption process was reversed by EDTA. The data suggest that salivary albumin is one of the main constituents of a salivary biofilm formed on Ti dental implants and its adsorption to Ti surfaces is Ca-dependent. The presence of albumin on Ti dental implants may affect plaque accumulation on the implants and the biocompatibility of Ti implants.
- Titanium implants
- salivary albumin