Antimicrobial Integrated Methodologies for orthopaedic applications
The AIMed network, consisting of 12 beneficiaries and 6 partner organisations, will develop a range of materials with anti-bacterial properties that are suitable for use on the surfaces of orthopaedic implants. This is in response to the increasing problem of post-operative infection by antibiotic-resistant bacteria. By combining several approaches to disrupt surface biofilm formation, the materials developed by the AIMed network will eventually result in fewer surgical infections, faster recovery of patients, and greatly reduced post-operative healthcare costs. The network will develop novel peptide sequences and ways of binding them to the surfaces of olymers, ceramics and metals. A complementary approach will be the developent of metal ion substituted calcium phosphate coatings which can be applied to implants by additive manufacturing techniques. The efficacy of these anti-bacterial surfaces will be further enhanced by laser processing of the material to make it unattractive to biofilms (by altering the roughness and wetting characteristics). The network will carry out a thorough investigation of the properties of the new materials to ensure that they are feasible for use in future implants. This work will include the evaluation of antibacterial action and biocompatibility using appropriate models. Training of the 15 ESR's appointed to the network will be multi-disciplinary and intersectoral, with an emphasis on the need for technology transfer from academic institutions to commercial users.