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Factors affecting microbial adhesion to stainless steel and other materials used in medical devices.

Verran, Joanna and Whitehead, Kathryn A. (2005) Factors affecting microbial adhesion to stainless steel and other materials used in medical devices. International journal of artificial organs, 28 (11). pp. 1138-45. ISSN 0391-3988

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Abstract

The role of biofilm in medical device associated infections is well documented. Biofilms are more resistant to antibiotics than planktonic cells, these are extremely difficult to treat. Prevention strategies include efforts to insert implants under stringent aseptic conditions, and also encompass the development of novel materials which interfere with the initial attachment of microorganisms to the surface of the device. Microbial cells also attach onto hygienic surfaces in the hospital setting, and thereby pose a cross-infection problem. In this case, vigorous cleaning and sanitizing regimes may be employed in addition to any surface modifications. Many factors affect the initial attachment of organisms to inert substrata, and their subsequent retention or removal/detachment, including the physical and chemical nature and location of the substratum, the type of organic material and microorganisms potentially fouling the surface, and the nature of the interface (solid-liquid in the body; solid-air on environmental surfaces). Focusing on one factor, surface topography, it is apparent that many further variables need to be defined in order to fully understand the interactions occurring between the cell and surface. It is therefore important when modifying one substratum surface property in order to reduce adhesion, to also consider other potentially confounding factors.

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