The study for the Paper Spotlight aimed to examine how different surface finishes on prosthetic materials can affect the formation of Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) biofilms, which are a major cause of periprosthetic joint infection (PJI). Biofilm growth of S. aureus was analyzed on titanium surfaces with different finishes: Plasma Spray (PS), Grit Blasted (GB), and As-fabricated (AF). The study used a CDC Biofilm Reactor® to cultivate biofilms under controlled conditions. Advanced metrological techniques were used to characterize the surfaces in detail.

Results of this study indicated that the PS surface had significantly more biofilm growth compared to the other two surfaces, with AF showing the least. The specific features of the PS coating allowed more biofilm accumulation, which could complicate the design of prosthetics by providing locations for biofilm attachment and development, potentially leading to joint infection. While there’s a common understanding that more surface area could naturally lead to more biofilm, this study revealed that the location of the increased surface area within the surface topography might be more significant.

The CDC Biofilm Reactor® offers researchers the opportunity to study almost any material under repeatable and controllable conditions. We offer sampling coupons in over 40 different materials for this reactor, and can make custom coupons as well. BioSurface Technologies currently offers several materials specifically for medical and dental research like in the paper mentioned above. Materials such as titanium allow (Grade 2), Ti6AL-4V ELI (Grade 23), cobalt chrome, hydroxyapatite, and Lucitone all came to be coupon material offerings due to their relevance in these fields.

If you are looking to study medical biofilms, the CDC Biofilm Reactor® is your best option for growing a repeatable biofilm that can be sampled and measured. Please contact us for a quote today, or to discuss possible custom materials.

Read the full publication:

Jackson, C., Bills, P. J., Humphreys, P., & Allen, C. (2023). An investigation into the effects of prosthesis relevant surfaces on the formation of Staphylococcus aureus biofilms. Surface Topography: Metrology and Properties.