Combating implant infections. Remarks by a women's team

Carla Renata Arciola, Naomi Balaban, Lucilla Baldassarri, Katharina Fromm, Gertrud Maria Hänsch, Ursula Obst, Elisabeth Presterl, Stefania Stefani, Joanna Verran, Livia Visai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Research on implant infections requires cooperative efforts and integration between basic and clinical expertises. An international group of women scientists is acting together in this field. The main research topics of the participants of this group are described. Formation of bacterial biofilms, antibiotic resistance and production of virulence factors like adhesins and toxins are investigated. New biomaterials, coatings and drugs designed to inhibit microbial adhesion are evaluated, and infection-resistant biomaterials are under study, such as a novel heparinizable polycarbonate-urethane (Bionate) or incorporation of diamino-diamide-diol (PIME) to reduce bacterial attachment. The correlation between biofilm production and the accessory-gene-regulator (agr) is investigated in Staphylococcus aureus. The ability to form biofilm has also been shown to be one of the important virulence factors of Enterococcus faecalis, favouring colonization of inert and biological surfaces. The study of quorum sensing has led to the discovery of a quorum sensing inhibitor termed RIP that suppresses staphylococcal biofilm and infections. The immune response and the local defence mechanisms of the host against implant-associated infections, activation and infiltration of imnunocompetent cells into the sites of infection have been studied in patients with implant-associated osteomyelitis. Production of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) as possible vaccines against the staphylococcal collagen-binding MSCRAMMs is in progress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)858-864
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Artificial Organs
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2008


  • Biofilm
  • Host immune response
  • Implant infections
  • Infection-resistant biomaterials
  • Molecular epidemiology
  • Quorum sensing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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