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MINERVA ORTOPEDICA E TRAUMATOLOGICA

A Journal on Orthopedics and Traumatology


Official Journal of the Piedmontese-Ligurian-Lombard Society of Orthopedics and Traumatology
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Minerva Ortopedica e Traumatologica 2017 June;68(2):51-7

DOI: 10.23736/S0394-3410.17.03808-5

Copyright © 2016 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Biofilms on orthopedic implants: novel strategies for detection and prevention

Robert M. ZBEDA, H. John COOPER

Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York, NY, USA


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Infection following orthopedic surgery is difficult to treat, as biofilm readily forms on implant surfaces and exists as a complex aggregate of adherent microorganisms embedded in a matrix of extracellular polymeric substance (EPS). Protein expression during the biofilm mode of growth differs from that expressed during the planktonic phase, making it more difficult to detect and more resistant to antimicrobial agents. Modification of an implant surface to prevent biofilm formation by using bacteria-repelling and anti-adhesive surfaces is one potential strategy to prevent infection. Passive coatings can be applied to implant surfaces to impair bacterial adherence, while active coatings attack bacteria that come into contact with the surface. Methods to disrupt established biofilm have also been explored, including proteins, enzymes, and bacteriophages that target proteins and other structural elements of the EPS. Biofilm can also be disrupted by mechanical processes such as negative pressure wound therapy, electrical stimulation, ultrasound, and shockwave therapy.


KEY WORDS: Biofilms - Bacteria - Orthopedics

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Issue published online: March 16, 2017

Cite this article as

Zbeda RM, Cooper HJ. Biofilms on orthopedic implants: novel strategies for detection and prevention. Minerva Ortop Traumatol 2017;68:51-7. DOI: 10.23736/S0394-3410.17.03808-5

Corresponding author e-mail

robert.zbeda@gmail.com