Nowadays irreparable damage to the human body needs not necessarily be associated with loss of function and quality of life. Numerous permanent biomaterials implants or temporary devices are available for the restoration or temporary support of function.

Biomaterials implants for permanent applications share the same two barriers with respect to their extended use: “the possibility of biomaterials-associated-infection and the lack of tissue integration”.

In our MBM reserach programme we:

  • study the physico-chemical and biological mechanisms,
  • ​​​​​​​design new multi-functional biomaterials​​​,
  • translate promising results to clinical applications.
Relevance

All biomaterials implants and devices attract microorganisms

Healthy ageing with a high quality of life is a general desire. Ageing starts with birth and no matter how well we adapt our lifestyles to age in a healthy way, sooner or later the human body will become beyond natural repair.

Sometimes, severe trauma causes the human body to become damaged beyond natural repair. Often, oncological removal surgery creates irreparable damage by natural processes. Eventually as the body ages, the natural repair capabilities will not be able to keep up with the everyday wear and tear on the body, requiring intervention.

Numerous permanent biomaterials implants or temporary devices are available for the restoration or temporary support of function. Implants and devices may differ widely,  e.g. artificial hearts, prosthetic joints, vascular prostheses, dental implants, surgical meshes, breast implants, sutures, urinary and intravascular catheters, voice prostheses, contact lenses, but all biomaterials implants and devices attract microorganisms that

  • interfere with their intended function,
  • limit their lifespan
  • or cause sepsis which can even be life threatening.
  • We study the physico-chemical and biological mechanisms for the (simultaneous) interaction of microorganisms, mammalian cells and immune system components with biomaterials surfaces.

    • Communication
    • Target finding
    • Promoting tissue integration over biofilm formation.
  • We design new multi-functional biomaterials that can be applied to discourage microbial adhesion and growth and at the same time stimulate mammalian cell adhesion and growth on totally internal, permanent biomaterials implants.

    • Coatings
    • Surface modifications
  • ​​​​We translate promising results to clinical applications using newly developed in vitro and in vivo evaluation methods and to substantiate biomaterials-related claims with respect to reduced infection risks of different implants and devices currently used in modern medicine. Having access to the clinic allows for direct translation of successful developments to patient-related applications.