Prevention of Orthopaedic Implant Related Bacterial Infections by Using Novel Plasma Surface Treatments

Project: Research

View graph of relations



Metallic materials such as titanium (Ti-6AI-4V) alloy and stainless steel are widely applied in orthopaedic surgeries. However, wound debridement or implant removal due to bacterial infection is often seen if conventional antibiotic therapy fails. Bacterial adhesion on implant surface is important to the pathogenesis of bacterial infection. Inhibition of initial bacterial adhesion on the surface is essential in avoiding subsequent bacterial infection. Previous studies reveal that altering the surface chemistry and morphology of the implantable material is critical to inhibiting bacterial adhesion and proliferation. By using novel plasma immersion ion implantation (PIII) surface technology, we can modify the surface characteristics of currently used medical grade titanium alloys so as to prevent the post-operative bacterial infections.Preliminary in-vitro results suggest the oxygen and water plasma treated alloys can significantly reduce the bacterial adhesion, thereby minimizing the possibility of post-operative infections. This proposal aims at establishing the correlations between implantation parameters and bacterial adhesion behaviour of Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, two strains of bacteria commonly seen in orthopaedic infections. We shall comprehensively study the surface characteristics, mechanical, in-vitro and in-vivo biological and antibacterial properties. A favourable outcome is expected and this can absolutely pave the way for clinical trial and ultimate commercialization.


Project number9449007
Grant typeITF
Effective start/end date1/04/1030/04/11