Biofilm

Bacteria are clever organisms !

Bacteria have been living in the world by millions of years.

 

They arrived in this world far previous than humans and will surely survive us.

 

Bacteria are very smart at living in different conditions and are able to adapt and resist in most hostile environments.

 

However, the most striking discover in the last 30 years is their ability to live in comunities and to protect themselves in a "biofilm" as soon as they adhere on a surface, like, for example, a joint prosthesis or a piece of plastic or even on bone.

 

When protected by the biofilm, bacteria become more and more resistant to host's immune defence and to antibiotics. This is the reason why chronic infection of implanted biomaterials (joint prosthesis, osteosynthesis, bone cement, etc.) often require the complete removal of the implant to achieve infection cure.

 

To fight biofilms, antibiofilm agents are under study

 

Another approach consists in prevent biofilm formation by coating the implant with antibacterial or antibiofilm agents.

 

An antibacterial coating would be a simple and effective solution to prevent bacteria colonization of the implanted biomaterials and, finaly, to reduce post-surgical infections.

 

The Galeazzi Institute in Milano is among the leaders of a European Project, aimed at developing a resorbable, biocompatible antibacterial coating, able to prevent infection of implanted biomaterials in orthopaedcs. To learn more, visit the official website of the IDAC Project.

 

 


 

Bacterial adhesion

P.aeruginosa on titanium surface at confocal microscopy (courtesy Prof. Drago)

Bacterial adhesion - Bone and Joint Infections

Biofilm formation

Biofilm formation (red) after 8 hours

Biofilm formation - Bone and Joint Infections

Biofilm thickening

Biofilm formation after 24 hours

Biofilm thickening - Bone and Joint Infections

Mature biofilm

Biofilm thickness after 24 hours. On the bottom bacteria adhered to the titanium surface

Mature biofilm - Bone and Joint Infections
Bone and Joint Infections

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