Engineered biomaterial and biophysical stimulation as combinatorial strategies to address prosthetic infection by pathogenic bacteria

Sunil Kumar Boda, Bikramjit Basu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


A plethora of antimicrobial strategies are being developed to address prosthetic infection. The currently available methods for implant infection treatment include the use of antibiotics and revision surgery. Among the bacterial strains, Staphylococcus species pose significant challenges particularly, with regard to hospital acquired infections. In order to combat such life threatening infectious diseases, researchers have developed implantable biomaterials incorporating nanoparticles, antimicrobial reinforcements, surface coatings, slippery/non-adhesive and contact killing surfaces. This review discusses a few of the biomaterial and biophysical antimicrobial strategies, which are in the developmental stage and actively being pursued by several research groups. The clinical efficacy of biophysical stimulation methods such as ultrasound, electric and magnetic field treatments against prosthetic infection depends critically on the stimulation protocol and parameters of the treatment modality. A common thread among the three biophysical stimulation methods is the mechanism of bactericidal action, which is centered on biophysical rupture of bacterial membranes, the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and bacterial membrane depolarization evoked by the interference of essential ion-transport. Although the extent of antimicrobial effect, normally achieved through biophysical stimulation protocol is insufficient to warrant therapeutic application, a combination of antibiotic/ROS inducing agents and biophysical stimulation methods can elicit a clinically relevant reduction in viable bacterial numbers. In this review, we present a detailed account of both the biomaterial and biophysical approaches for achieving maximum bacterial inactivation. Summarizing, the biophysical stimulation methods in a combinatorial manner with material based strategies can be a more potent solution to control bacterial infections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2174-2190
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part B Applied Biomaterials
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Copyright 2018 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • antimicrobial
  • biophysical methods
  • magnetic and electric field
  • prosthetic infection
  • ultrasound


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