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Biofouling. 2012;28(3):267-77. doi: 10.1080/08927014.2012.671305.

Evaluation of antimicrobial effects of novel implant materials by testing the prevention of biofilm formation using a simple small scale medium-throughput growth inhibition assay.

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Institute of Medical Microbiology, Virology and Hygiene, University of Rostock, D-18057 Rostock, Germany.


Staphylococcal colonization of implants is a serious complication of orthopaedic surgery. Anti-infectious modification of implant surfaces may serve to prevent bacterial colonization. The authors set out to develop an in vitro test system for the analysis of prevention of biofilm formation by Staphylococcus epidermidis and Staphylococcus aureus on implant materials. Biofilm growth was monitored over 10 days on titanium disks in order to develop appropriate test parameters. Bacterial cell counts following ultrasonic treatment of the colonized samples were compared with scanning electron microscope images of the specimens. Copper ion containing surfaces (ie copper [Cu] and inter-metallic Ti-Cu films) were used for growth inhibition assays: copper ion releasing specimens led to reduced bacterial numbers in biofilms and decreased bacterial persistence in the model used. The assay used represents an inexpensive and quick in vitro screen for the antibacterial effects of novel implant surface materials.

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