Indexed on: 13 Aug '13Published on: 13 Aug '13Published in: Biomaterials
Infection is currently regarded as the most severe and devastating complication associated to the use of biomaterials. The important social, clinical and economic impacts of implant-related infections are promoting the efforts to obviate these severe diseases. In this context, the development of anti-infective biomaterials and of infection-resistant surfaces is being regarded as the main strategy to prevent the establishment of implant colonisation and biofilm formation by bacteria. In this review, the attention is focused on the biomaterial-associated infections, from which the need for anti-infective biomaterials originates. Biomaterial-associated infections differ markedly for epidemiology, aetiology and severity, depending mainly on the anatomic site, on the time of biomaterial application, and on the depth of the tissues harbouring the prosthesis. Here, the diversity and complexity of the different scenarios where medical devices are currently utilised are explored, providing an overview of the emblematic applicative fields and of the requirements for anti-infective biomaterials.