The potential use of TiO2 nanotube layers as a self-sterilizing and self-cleaning
material for environmental application is presented. Antimicrobial, antibiofilm and
photocatalytic performance of anodic TiO2 nanotube layers under UV irradiation was
investigated on titanium mesh and on Ti sputtered on silicon substrates. The nanotubes
were prepared in fluoride containing ethylene glycol-based electrolyte to obtain similar
to 4 mu m thick nanotube layers, which were subsequently annealed at 450 degrees C.
Structural and morphological properties of prepared TiO2 layers were characterized
using X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy.
In addition, their surface wettability, before and after UV irradiation, was investigated.
Their photoactivity was compared to TiO2 sol-gel films of similar thickness. The highest
efficiency in photocatalytic degradation of organic dye and removal of free-floating
bacteria of Gram-positive Staphylococcus epidermidis was observed for TiO2 nanotube
layers on titanium mesh. The highest antibiofilm performance in impairments of biofilms
was reached using the TiO2 nanotubes on silicon. The obtained results on silicon substrate
are promising for the development of medical devices covered by TiO2 nanotubes that
would decrease the risk of infection. On the other hand, the mesh substrate covered
by TiO2 nanotubes could find environmental applications such as filters in flowing