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Prevention of biofilm formation by material modification

D. Ficai, A. Ficai

University Politehnica of Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania


Biocompatibility and antibiofilm properties are essential requirements of the medical devices. The biocompatibility of the materials used in medical field is a mandatory property. But, nowadays, the importance of the antibiofilm property is proved to be another essential requirement for the modern medical devices. In fact, biofilm formation is a real problem in a wide range of industrial and environmental applications and can lead to infectious agents’ transfer, pipe corrosion, reduction of the heat transfers of cooling towers or heat exchangers, or blockage in filters (Lin et al., 2015). In food industry, the biofilm formation is of great importance and directly affects the shelf-life of the foods (meaning food contamination and spoilage, disease, and important economic losses) (Sen et al., 2012).

There are some possibilities for avoiding biofilm formation without affecting the biocompatibility of the devices (Fig. 7.1).

Ways of improving antibiofilm properties of the materials/devices

Figure 7.1 Ways of improving antibiofilm properties of the materials/devices.

Biofilms and Implantable Medical Devices.

Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

First of all, the development of new biomaterials with antibiofilm properties can be a choice but involve important investments, Because the development of these materials must take into account many other required properties including mechanical properties, physicochemical stability, and so on (Grosu et al., 2013, 2015). Other ways of improving the antibiofilm properties of the devices are related to the surface modification by physical or chemical methods (Table 7.1). The new surfaces can be of the same material or can consist in a new material applied on the surface. There are a lot of medical devices that require antibiofilm functional- ity/properties: prosthetic tubular devices, dental and orthopedic implants, medical instruments, and so on. Regardless of the final destination, the nature of these devices is the most important factor, which requires the processing route that will be followed in order to ensure the antibiofilm character (Telegdi et al., 2007, 2010; Bhure et al., 2011; Cheruthazhekatt et al., 2010; Yue and Yang, 2014; Antoci et al., 2008; Beech et al., 2006).

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