Germ Reducing Implants -- MEDICA - World Forum for Medicine

Germ Reducing Implants

Photo: Germ

Innovative materials will prevent
the development of germs on im-
plants. First product applications
will be developed soon;
© Kerbusch

“We are developing surface coatings for implants and dressing material on which the development of germs is hardly possible”, explains Doctor Renate Förch, researcher and project leader at the MPI-P. “Our special interest lies on the reduction of the complex germs Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeroginosa which pose problems in hospitals because they develop antibiotic resistance.”

The Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL) declared in a report that in 2010 already 25 percent of all bacterial strains show antibiotic resistance. With the help of new methods, bacterial infections can be prevented after surgical intervention. To this end, the scientists first have to identify and research both the biological mechanisms underlying the adhesion of germs on certain surfaces and the genetic sequences determining the adhesion process.

“In order to accomplish this, we use the so-called plasma coating of surfaces”, Förch explains. The method used allows for a coating of surfaces with plastic-like materials (plasma polymers) and zinc-releasing materials. Germs can neither adhere to these surfaces nor reproduce themselves.

A cooperative research team specialized on the development of an alternative solution to the problem based on metal organometallic hydrogels. Another research focuses their research work on the development of nanostructures that can store and release silver using plasma technology. All these approaches have one thing in common: The researchers always have to take into consideration such criteria as the biocompatibility, storage stability and durability.; Source: Max-Planck-Institut für Polymerforschung