A review of the biomaterials technologies for infection-resistant surfaces

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Anti-infective biomaterials need to be tailored according to the specific clinical application. All their properties have to be tuned to achieve the best anti-infective performance together with safe biocompatibility and appropriate tissue interactions. Innovative technologies are developing new biomaterials and surfaces endowed with anti-infective properties, relying either on antifouling, or bactericidal, or antibiofilm activities. This review aims at thoroughly surveying the numerous classes of antibacterial biomaterials and the underlying strategies behind them. Bacteria repelling and antiadhesive surfaces, materials with intrinsic antibacterial properties, antibacterial coatings, nanostructured materials, and molecules interfering with bacterial biofilm are considered. Among the new strategies, the use of phages or of antisense peptide nucleic acids are discussed, as well as the possibility to modulate the local immune response by active cytokines. Overall, there is a wealth of technical solutions to contrast the establishment of an implant infection. Many of them exhibit a great potential in preclinical models. The lack of well-structured prospective multicenter clinical trials hinders the achievement of conclusive data on the efficacy and comparative performance of anti-infective biomaterials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8533-8554
Number of pages22
Issue number34
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013


  • Anti-infective biomaterials
  • Antiadhesive surfaces
  • Antibiofilm molecules
  • Antisense peptide nucleic acids (PNAs)
  • Implant infections
  • Nanostructured materials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Bioengineering
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Biophysics


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