Improving Polymethyl Methacrylate Resin Using a Novel Titanium Dioxide Coating

Ghaith Darwish, Su Huang, Kent Knoernschild, Cortino Sukotjo, Stephen Campbell, Arghya Kamal Bishal, Valentim Adelino Barão, Christine D. Wu, Christos G. Taukodis, Bin Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Purpose: The objective of this study was to improve the surface characteristics of poly (methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) by developing a novel, thin film coating process and to characterize the resulting coated surface. Materials and Methods: An atomic layer deposition (ALD) technique was developed to deposit a titanium dioxide (TiO2) nano-thin film on PMMA. The surface wettability for both coated and uncoated PMMA was determined by measuring water contact angle. Wear resistance was assessed using a mechanical tooth-brushing device with a 50 g load for 6000 strokes after 5 months of water storage. A denture cleanser challenge test was performed by using sonication in 3.8% sodium perborate for 1 hour with aged specimens. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) was used before and after the brushing test and challenge test to analyze the PMMA surface chemical composition. The mechanical strength of coated and uncoated PMMA was measured using a three-point bending test. Surface microbial interactions were also evaluated by assessing Candida albicans biofilm attachment. Results: Nano-TiO2 coating (30 nm thick) was successfully deposited on PMMA at 65°C. After coating, water contact angle decreased from 70° to less than 5°. After brushing test, the coating remained intact. XPS analysis revealed no loss of TiO2 from coated specimens following brushing and denture cleanser sonication for 1 hour. There was no statistically significant difference in mechanical strength (MPa) (mean ± SD) between PMMA (139.4 ± 11.3) and TiO2-PMMA (160.7 ± 37.1) (p = 0.0995). C. albicans attachment decreased by 63% to 77% on the coated PMMA surface. Conclusions: ALD is a promising technique to modify surface properties of PMMA and resulted in a stable adherent thin film. By depositing a TiO2 coating, PMMA surface properties may lead to significantly reduced microorganism adhesion and easier pathogen removal from PMMA. For patients who wear dentures, reducing the oral microbial biofilm burden using a TiO2-coated PMMA surface could positively impact their oral and systemic health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1011-1017
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Prosthodontics
Issue number9
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • C. albicans attachment
  • poly methyl methacrylate resin
  • surface characterization
  • titanium dioxide coating

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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