Infections and Biofilms
Treatment of infections on orthopedic implants (osteomyelitis) can be extremely difficult. These infections can start during trauma, during surgery or later by blood flow into the area when there is an active remote infection in the body. Healthy living tissue can resist bacteria that cause infections but the area near an orthopedic implant can contain dead tissue, dead space and debris which all provide an opportunity for bacteria to grow. Bacteria that colonize on the surface of the implant can create a biofilm covering that essentially isolates and shields the infection from the body’s natural immune system and also from antibiotics that are introduced systemically. Under this biofilm, bacteria are free to further colonize and damage the bone to the point where the implant fails. Once a biofim forms on the surface of an implant it is often necessary to remove it. The damage done to the bone structure is permanent and often complicates or even prohibits any repeat procedures.
Isoflux Antimicrobial Coating is Not Affected by a Biofilm
Infection of orthopedic implants and the formation of biofilms are far too common. Because these biofilms are highly effective in keeping anything that might kill bacteria out, a better way to deal with this situation is to incorporate antimicrobial agents on the surface of the implant itself so that they will always be on the inside of the biofilm.
The Isoflux porous-columnar coatings developed for drug delivery from vascular stents are ideal for the delivery of antimicrobial agents from orthopedic implants as well. As is described fully in the Drug Delivery section, these coatings contain nanopores that can be easily loaded with drugs and other compounds. The nanosize structure of the surface of these coatings may also aid in Osseointegration to further improve the probability of a successful implant procedure.
Isoflux is currently working with one of our academic partners to develop more information on this approach. We would also be interested in working with you to see if our coatings could help you as well.