WASHINGTON, D.C., (Oct. 19, 2010) -- Bacteria have a natural ability to attach themselves to surfaces, both natural and synthetic. Once attached, they often work cooperatively to form biofilms, thin layers of bacterial colonies that can coat the surface of a medical device and introduce the risk of infection. As a result, orthopedic implants, catheters, and even contact lenses can become vehicles for infection.
Antibacterial materials on the surface can reduce the risk but generally these materials do not stick well to the devices. A research group at the University of South Australia is working on techniques to permanently bind antibacterial coatings to medical devices by binding them to a polymer layer. They present their research today at the AVS 57th International Symposium & Exhibition, which takes place this week at the Albuquerque Convention Center in New Mexico.
The Australian scientists start by applying a plasma polymer coating, a technique that works on many different base materials including glass, metal, and many polymers used in devices. This ultrathin film acts as a scaffold on which to bind materials that either signal the bacteria not to attach by interfering with the cell's attachment mechanism or that prevent multiplication once the bacteria are attached.
The presentation will compare several different antibiotics applied to the polymer film, including established antibiotic compounds, silver nanoparticles, and novel diterpene compounds derived from Australian plants that have been used in traditional medicine. Each approach has pros and cons that must be carefully weighed before using them on a device implanted in the human body.
"We believe that no solution will be universal so we want to establish an array of approaches," says Hans Griesser of the University of South Australia. "The new diterpene compounds that we are testing are structurally quite different from established antibacterial compounds, and they are effective against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. That is what got us excited about them."
The presentation, "Some strategies and Results for Antibacterial Coatings" is at 2:40 p.m. on Tuesday, October 19, 2010.
MORE INFORMATION FOR JOURNALISTS
The AVS 57th International Symposium and Exhibition is being held October 17-22, 2010, at the Albuquerque Convention Center, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The meeting includes more than 1,200 talks and posters presented in more than 130 technical sessions. All meeting information, including directions to the Convention Center, can be found at:
REGISTRATION -- Staff reporters and professional freelance journalists working on assignment are invited to attend the conference free of charge. Journalist registration instructions can be found at:
The AVS press room will be located in East Lobby of the Albuquerque Convention Center. Press room hours are Monday-Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The phone number there is 408-205-0595. Press Kits containing company product announcements and other news will be available on CD-ROM in the press room. Also access the online press room at: http://www2.
Complete Program: http://www2.
Searchable abstracts: http://www.
Topical Conferences: http://www2.
Meeting Home Page: http://www2.
The plenary talk, "Carbon Nanotubes and Single Sheet Graphene," which will be at noon on Monday, October 18, 2010 in Ballroom B of the Albuquerque Convention Center. See: http://www2.
AVS promotes communication, dissemination of knowledge, recommended practices, research, and education in a broad range of technologically relevant topics. One way that it does this is by offering special tutorials in areas such as:
- Graphene Tutorial (Sunday, October 17, 2010, 1:00-5:00 p.m.)
- Tutorial on Nanoparticle Characterization and Toxicity: Significant Challenges and Critical Needs (Sunday, October 17, 2010, 1:00-5:00 p.m.)
To access the complete descriptions of these special tutorials, see:
As a professional membership organization, AVS fosters networking within the materials, processing, and interfaces community at various local, national or international meetings and exhibits throughout the year. AVS publishes four journals, honors and recognizes members through its prestigious awards program, offers training and other technical resources, as well as career services.