Objective: The aim of this in vitro study was to investigate the colonization and penetration of specific bacteria on nanosilver-impregnated GTR (guided tissue regeneration) membranes. Methods: Three sets of GTR membranes were used in this study: 1) GTR-C: Plain GTR membrane as a negative control; 2) GTR-NS: GTR membrane impregnated with silver nanoparticles as the test group; 3) GTR-DOX: GTR membrane impregnated with 25% (w/w) doxycycline hydrochloride acting as a positive control. Stress–strain characteristics were calculated to determine the physical properties of the control and impregnated membranes. Qualitative observation of microbial adherence and bacterial penetration through GTR membranes were performed by using four organisms (Streptococcus mutans, Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, Fusobacterium nucleatum and Porphyromonas gingivalis) reported to have strong adherent capabilities to collagen membranes. Results: The mean bacterial adherence scores were significantly greater (p < 0.001) in the GTR-C group when compared to GTR-DOX and GTR-NS groups. GTR-NS showed lower adherence scores than GTR-DOX across all four microorganisms; this difference, however was not statistically significant. The difference in colony forming units (CFUs) was highly significant (p < 0.001), suggesting greater penetration in GTR-C membranes when compared to GTR-NS and GTR-DOX groups. Though the mean CFUs were lower in GTR-DOX than in GTR-NS across all four microorganisms, this difference was statistically significant only for S. mutans and F. nucleatum. Conclusion: The incorporation of silver nanoparticles may be of value when controlling membrane-associated infection. Studies with different nanosilver particle sizes should be conducted to further evaluate the beneficial properties of nanosilver against periodontal pathogens.
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