Talking with bacteria to transform implant biofilms
In an exclusive interview with an Italian newspaper, BIOACTION’s coordinator, Luigi Ambrosio, explores the groundbreaking approach to combat implant-related infections—transforming bacteria into allies for tissue regeneration.
Voiceover: Implant-associated infections increase the risk of rejection, compromising patient health and contributing to the growing problem of antimicrobial resistance. Standard treatments involving a prolonged intake of antibiotics often prove useless against these resistant bacterial communities.
Bioaction is a European Commission-funded project aiming to revolutionise the approach to bacterial infections often accompanying medical implants. The project is led by a multidisciplinary team coordinated by Luigi Ambrosio, a researcher at the Institute of Polymers, Composites and Biomaterials of Italy’s National Research Council.
Luigi Ambrosio: The project that was presented concerns, mainly, a new methodology to combat bacterial resistance. In particular, this bacterial resistance mainly concerns orthopaedic or dental prostheses, on which, on many occasions, a biofilm forms to protect the bacteria but which does nothing more than isolate prostheses.
Consequently, creating considerable immobility for which removal is necessary. To avoid this, we thought of developing new functional materials that, by incorporating specific biomolecules with properties that favour bone regrowth, allow us to use the biofilm as a structure that no longer immobilises prostheses but instead promotes tissue regeneration, stabilizing the prostheses with new tissue.
Our approach is based on having bacteria cross-talk to identify their specific behaviour in bone-prosthesis interfaces and then use them (i.e., biofilm) to regenerate tissue. So that’s the approach. To no longer destroy bacteria but to use the biofilm that they generate to grow new tissue.
Implant-associated infections have long been a concern in the world of medical implants; they not only increase the risk of rejection but also contribute to the growing problem of antimicrobial resistance.
The BIOACTION project, led by a multidisciplinary team coordinated by Luigi Ambrosio, a researcher at the Institute of Polymers, Composites, and Biomaterials of Italy’s National Research Council, aims to revolutionize the approach to bacterial infections by converting them into positive actors instead of eliminating them.
In a recent interview, Luigi explained how the project will develop new functional materials to transform the biofilms that form in implants and make them malfunction.
Our approach is based on having bacteria cross-talk to identify their specific behaviour in bone-prosthesis interfaces and then use them (i.e., biofilm) to regenerate tissue.
BIOACTION focuses on orthopaedic and dental prostheses, promising better outcomes for countless individuals in need of these life-changing devices.