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Bone Joint J. 2014 Apr;96-B(4):497-501. doi: 10.1302/0301-620X.96B4/32895.

Interplay between surface properties of standard, vitamin E blended and oxidised ultra high molecular weight polyethylene used in total joint replacement and adhesion of Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli.

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University of Torino, Department of Public Health and Pediatrics, Via Santena 9, 10126 Turin, Italy.


We have assessed the different adhesive properties of some of the most common bacteria associated with periprosthetic joint infection on various types of ultra high molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE). Quantitative in vitro analysis of the adhesion of biofilm producing strains of Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli to physically and chemically characterised standard UHMWPE (PE), vitamin E blended UHMWPE (VE-PE) and oxidised UHMWPE (OX-PE) was performed using a sonication protocol. A significant decreased bacterial adhesion was registered for both strains on VE-PE, in comparison with that observed on PE, within 48 hours of observation (S. aureus p = 0.024 and E. coli p = 0.008). Since Vitamin E reduces bacterial adhesive ability, VE-stabilised UHMWPE could be valuable in joint replacement by presenting excellent mechanical properties, while reducing bacterial adhesiveness.


Bacterial adhesion; Escherichia coli; Oxidation.; Staphylococcus aureus; UHMWPE; Vitamin E

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