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Surface texturing technology prevents bacterial growth on medical implants

US biotech firm Genetoo has launched laser surface texturing technology that prevents the growth of bacterial biofilm on surgically implanted prostheses.

By improving the bactericidal properties of prosthetic implants, the technology increases the rate at which natural tissue integrates with their surface, preventing infection without the need for antibiotics.

Developed in response to an increase in resistance rates in bacteria to traditional antibiotics, the technology prevents the growth of bacterial biofilm on the surface of implants, which the antibiotics are normally introduced to fight.

According to the team at Gentoo, of the various surface texturing strategies available on the market, direct laser writing has proved to be the most effective. 

The process works by using a laser beam to quickly and precisely engrave bacteriophobic and bactericidal micro- and nano-structures directly onto the surface of a prosthetic. 

The producable structures include: laser-induced periodic surface structures LIPSS (a-b), nanopillar arrays (c-d), and nanopillar arrays covered with LIPSS (e,f).

The structures are able to kill 99.6 per cent of MRSA bacteria on contact.

In addition to being programmable to recreate a wide range of nanostructures, the technology can also be used to modify other surface properties, such as wettability and biocompatibility. The flexibility of the technology enables the structures to be deployed in a variety of different ways and in a scalable manner, preventing the need for multiple toolsets.

The new technology is a result of Genetoo’s recent collaboration with NASA, which has led to a cross-pollination of innovative technologies, allowing Genetoo to access the most recent developments in laser technology and to utilise them for patient benefit.

More information on the process can be found here.