The research team measured the roughness, contact angle, zeta potential of material surfaces, and adhesion rate of Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis on 12 prosthetic and orthotic materials: poly methyl methacrylate; thermoplastic elastomer; three types of ethylene polyvinyl acetates (pure, with low-density polyethylene and with silver nanoparticles); silicone; closed-cell polyethylene foams with and without nanoparticles; thermo and natural cork; and artificial and natural leather.
Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis are almost always present on human skin, and O&P devices are usually worn for long periods of time, giving the bacteria the opportunity to grow. Surface roughness in the materials uses, such as dimples, grooves, and cracks, can encourage bacterial adhesion and the development of biofilm.
The authors reported that studies of bacterial adhesion to medical devices have been conducted, but none were specific to O&P materials. Most of the studies focused on titanium and titanium alloy used in implanted devices.
The authors included three materials with silver nanoparticle coatings to determine if the coatings mitigated bacterial adhesion.
The study concluded that the greatest degree of adhesion was measured on both closed-cell polyethylene foams, followed by artificial thermo cork and leather. The lowest adhesion extent was observed on ethylene-vinyl acetate. The bacterial adhesion extent increased with the increasing surface roughness. Smaller deviations of this rule are the result of the surface’s hydrophobicity and charge, they wrote.
The open-access study, “Bacterial Adhesion on Prosthetic and Orthotic Material Surfaces,” was published in Coatings.
To read more about the study, visit AZO Materials.
Image of the graphical abstract courtesy of Abram, A. et al. and Coatings.