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Implanted infection prevention
Date:6/11/2014

This news release is available in German.

The figures are alarming: Hundreds of thousands of patients in German hospitals are infected annually with germs that are resistant to all common antibiotics. As a result, wounds remain open and inflammations spread, weakening the organism and sometimes even leading to death. Pharmaceutically, it's hard to get a handle on the problem: The development of new antibiotics is expensive, time-consuming and tedious. When the drug is finally on the market, it's not long until the germs mutate and form new resistance.

Moreover, if surgeons use bone implants, it may happen that germs invade the body. Infections of the bones are especially problematic because they can be difficult to treat antibiotics, which are transported by the blood throughout the body, only reach the implants in very low concentrations. "It would be best to avoid infection from the outset by providing the implants with an antimicrobial shield," says Dr. Iris Trick, a microbiologist at the Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology IGB in Stuttgart. Along with materials scientists at the French CIRIMAT Carnot Institute in Toulouse, the Fraunhofer team has developed a bone substitute with integrated protection against infection.

No chance for bacteria

At first glance, the fine-grained implant looks like flour. Only under the microscope can one see what is inside: The individual grains of the granules consist of apatite crystals. These are similar in composition and structure to natural bone material, which is formed of the same chemical elements calcium and phosphorus. The granules make it an ideal material for implants. To prevent complications, some manufacturers coat their bone substitute material with
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Contact: Dr. Iris Trick
iris.trick@igb.fraunhofer.de
49-711-970-4217
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Source:Eurekalert  

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