Bacterial colonization of polymer brush-coated and pristine silicone rubber implanted in infected pockets in mice

M.R. Nejadnik, A.F. Engelsman, I.C.S. Fernandez, H.J. Busscher, W. Norde, H.C. van der Mei

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21 Citations (Scopus)


Curing biomaterial-associated infection (BAI) frequently includes antibiotic treatment, implant removal and re-implantation. However, revision implants are at a greater risk of infection as they may attract bacteria from their infected surroundings. Polymer brush-coatings attract low numbers of bacteria, but the virtue of polymer brush-coatings in vivo has seldom been investigated. Here, we determine the possible benefits of polymer brush-coated versus pristine silicone rubber in revision surgery, using a murine model. BAI was induced in 26 mice by subcutaneous implantation of silicone rubber discs with a biofilm of Staphylococcus aureus Xen29. During the development of BAI, half of the mice received rifampicin/vancomycin treatment. After 5 days, the infected discs were removed from all mice, and either a polymer brush-coated or pristine silicone rubber disc was re-implanted. Revision discs were explanted after 5 days, and the number of cfu cultured from the discs and the surrounding tissue was determined. None of the polymer brush-coated discs after antibiotic treatment appeared colonized by staphylococci, whereas 83% of the pristine silicone rubber discs were re-infected. Polymer brush-coated discs also showed reduced colonization rates in the absence of antibiotic treatment when compared with pristine silicone rubber discs. Tissue surrounding the discs was culture-positive in all cases. Polymer brush-coatings are less prone to re-infection than pristine silicone rubber when used in revision surgery, i.e. when implanted in a subcutaneous pocket infected by a staphylococcal BAI. Antibiotic pre-treatment during the development of BAI hardly had any effect in preventing the colonization of pristine silicone rubber.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1323-1325
JournalJournal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • staphylococcus-epidermidis
  • tissue


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