Surface micropattern reduces colonization and medical device-associated infections


PURPOSE: Surface microtopography offers a promising approach for infection control. The goal of this study was to provide evidence that micropatterned surfaces significantly reduce the potential risk of medical device-associated infections. METHODOLOGY: Micropatterned and smooth surfaces were challenged in vitro against the colonization and transference of two representative bacterial pathogens - Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. A percutaneous rat model was used to assess the effectiveness of the micropattern against device-associated S. aureus infections. After the percutaneous insertion of silicone rods into (healthy or immunocompromised) rats, their backs were inoculated with S. aureus. The bacterial burdens were determined in tissues under the rods and in the spleens. RESULTS: The micropatterns reduced adherence by S. aureus (92.3 and 90.5 % reduction for flat and cylindrical surfaces, respectively), while P. aeruginosa colonization was limited by 99.9 % (flat) and 95.5 % (cylindrical). The micropatterned surfaces restricted transference by 95.1 % for S. aureus and 94.9 % for P. aeruginosa, compared to smooth surfaces. Rats with micropatterned devices had substantially fewer S. aureus in subcutaneous tissues (91 %) and spleens (88 %) compared to those with smooth ones. In a follow-up study, immunocompromised rats with micropatterned devices had significantly lower bacterial burdens on devices (99.5 and 99.9 % reduction on external and internal segments, respectively), as well as in subcutaneous tissues (97.8 %) and spleens (90.7 %) compared to those with smooth devices. CONCLUSION: Micropatterned surfaces exhibited significantly reduced colonization and transference in vitro, as well as lower bacterial burdens in animal models. These results indicate that introducing this micropattern onto surfaces has high potential to reduce medical device-associated infections. KEYWORDS: hospital-acquired infections; infections; medical devices; micropatterns




Xu B., Q. Wei, R. Mettetal, J. Han, L. Rau, J. Tie, R.M. May, E.T. Pathe, S.T. Reddy, L. Sullivan, A.E. Parker, D.H. Maul, A.B. Brennan, E.E. Mann, “Surface micropattern reduces colonization and medical device-associated infections,” Journal of Medical Microbiology 66, (November 2017): 1692-1698. doi: 10.1099/jmm.0.000600
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