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Home arrow Communication arrow Biofilms and Implantable Medical Devices: Infection and Control


From the late 1950s to today, implantable medical devices such as spinal implants, reconstructive joint replacements, dental implants, cardiovascular implants, breast implants, intraocular implants, and catheters, have extended and improved the quality of life for millions of patients.

Rapid advances in medical devices have driven the field of implantable devices and led to the development of many new highly potent biomaterials. The fast pace of research and a large market demand promote the development of implant materials that focuses on optimizing and improving the mechanical and biocompatibility properties. Recently, however, increasing attention has been paid to the implantable device-associated infections because many implantable devices fail due to the biofilm formation on the device’s surface and surrounding tissue. Biomaterials that promote tissue regeneration often attract microorganism attachment. Patients with device-associated infections can suffer from morbidity, expensive device replacement surgery, and systematic infection. Therefore, implantable device-associated infection has become one of the most serious complications since antimicrobial treatments often fail due to the high drug and host immune resistance of the biofilm, or bacteria develop a resistance to the antibiotics, ultimately leading to implant failures or even mortality of patients. In addition, systemic or local administration of antibiotics may cause severe side effects such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, rashes, ototoxicity, and renal toxicity. These challenges, coupled with the complexity and diversity of new implantable medical devices, are fueling the evolution of novel biomaterials and surfaces that overcome bacterial infections. However, despite the growing importance of antimicrobial biomaterials, the materials and methods are not widely available to the medical device field.

An ideal implantable medical device should perform its therapeutic function by being compatible with surrounding tissues, enhancing tissue regeneration, or promoting bone reconstruction, while reducing the risk of infection. This direction is believed to be one of the most promising research areas due to its large clinical requirements and huge market potential.

Our aim in writing this book is to provide a comprehensive reference on antimicrobial medical devices covering basic concepts and approaches for developing new antimicrobial biomaterials, novel approaches to reduce the risk of infection, and practical methods in product development for medical applications. More importantly, an understanding of the fundamental concepts involved in the mechanisms of biofilm formation, properties of biofilm, bacteria-material interactions, and the principle of designing antimicrobial materials will help resolve the issues involved in medical device-associated infection. This book may serve as an excellent introductory book or a good source of new ideas for developing innovative antimicrobial medical devices. Our target is to enlighten students, teachers, scientists, or people outside of the field to see the art of bioengineering, material evaluation, and production.

Editors Dr. Ying Deng Dr. Wei Lv

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