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Int J Nanomedicine. 2019 Jul 1;14:4613-4624. doi: 10.2147/IJN.S197737. eCollection 2019.

Selenium nanoparticles as anti-infective implant coatings for trauma orthopedics against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and epidermidis: in vitro and in vivo assessment.

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School of Chemistry, Physics and Mechanical Engeneering, Faculty of Science and Engeneering, Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Brisbane, Queensland 4000, Australia.
Interface Science and Materials Engineering Group, School of Chemistry, Physics & Mechanical Engineering, QUT, Brisbane, Queensland 4000, Australia.
Departments of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, The Particulate Fluid Processing Centre, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia.
Oral Health Cooperative Research Centre, Melbourne Dental School, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia.
O' Brien Institute, St. Vincent's Institute of Medical Research, Fitzroy, Victoria 3065, Australia.
School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Health, Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Translational Research Institute, QUT, Brisbane, QLD, Australia.
Department of Chemical Engineering, Northeastern University, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
Surgical Infection Research Group, Australian School of Advanced Medicine, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW, Australia.


Background: Bacterial infection is a common and serious complication in orthopedic implants following traumatic injury, which is often associated with extensive soft tissue damage and contaminated wounds. Multidrug-resistant bacteria have been found in these infected wounds, especially in patients who have multi trauma and prolonged stay in intensive care units.Purpose: The objective of this study was to develop a coating on orthopedic implants that is effective against drug-resistant bacteria. Methods and results: We applied nanoparticles (30-70nm) of the trace element selenium (Se) as a coating through surface-induced nucleation-deposition on titanium implants and investigated the antimicrobial activity against drug resistant bacteria including Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus epidermidis (MRSE) in vitro and in an infected femur model in rats.The nanoparticles were shown in vitro to have antimicrobial activity at concentrations as low as 0.5ppm. The nanoparticle coatings strongly inhibited biofilm formation on the implants and reduced the number of viable bacteria in the surrounding tissue following inoculation of implants with biofilm forming doses of bacteria. Conclusion: This study shows a proof of concept for a selenium nanoparticle coatings as a potential anti-infective barrier for orthopedic medical devices in the setting of contamination with multi-resistant bacteria. It also represents one of the few (if only) in vivo assessment of selenium nanoparticle coatings on reducing antibiotic-resistant orthopedic implant infections.


antimicrobial; biofilm; implants; nanoparticles; orthopedic; selenium

Conflict of interest statement

Dr Phong A Tran reports a patent antipathogenic surfaces having selenium nanoclusters issued. Professor Anand Deva reports grants from Mentor (Johnson & Johnson), Allergan, Sientra, Allergan, and Motiva, during the conduct of the study. Professor Andrea J O’Connor reports grants from Defence Health Foundation, during the conduct of the study. Dr Thomas J Webster reports a patent antipathogenic surfaces having selenium nanoclusters issued. The authors report no other conflicts of interest in this work.

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