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Content archived on 2024-06-18

Development of antibiofilm coatings for implants


The aim of the SME-driven COATIM consortium is to tackle the increasing problem of infections due to biofilms, groups of microorganisms that stick together on different surfaces within the human body and escape conventional antibiotic treatment. Biofilms are typically found on medical devices like implants. The most recent generation of implants with open porosity enable fast osseointegration, but also present an increased risk of microbial biofilm-associated infection. Biofilm-associated infections are responsible for 15-25% of implant failure, and necessitate burdensome and costly revision surgery. The latter is estimated to represent a supplementary medical cost of €800m/year in Europe without taking into account the pain and distress of the patients, indicating that any significant reduction of this type of implant failure is highly recommended. Until now, biocidal implant coatings have been developed that are based on either the release of silver ions, which are toxic upon accumulation, or on conventional antibiotics that have poor activity against microorganisms in biofilms. Therefore, COATIM aims to develop the next generation of implant coatings containing novel potent proprietary antibiofilm molecules (ABMs) with inhibitory activity against microbial biofilms. In COATIM, these ABMs are grafted or deposited on small titanium implant substrates, as a model for dental and orthopaedic implants. Next, the ABM-coated implants are evaluated for in vitro and in vivo activity in resisting microbial infection without compromising osseointegration. Finally, the ABM-coating is applied on complex orthopaedic and dental implants, allowing the exploitation of the results by industry. In parallel, the antibiofilm mode of action of the ABMs is unraveled. COATIM contributes to a dynamic and competitive knowledge-based economy, sustainable development, and serves the needs of the SME-intensive medical technology products market in Europe.

Call for proposal

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EU contribution
€ 1 314 442,94
3000 Leuven

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Vlaams Gewest Prov. Vlaams-Brabant Arr. Leuven
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Myriam Witvrouw (Dr.)
Total cost
No data

Participants (10)