UMass Chan Medical School Faculty Publications


Anti-Periprosthetic Infection Strategies: From Implant Surface Topographical Engineering to Smart Drug-Releasing Coatings

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Orthopedics and Physical Rehabilitation

Publication Date


Document Type



Bacterial Infections and Mycoses | Biomaterials | Biomedical Devices and Instrumentation | Orthopedics


Despite advanced implant sterilization and aseptic surgical techniques, periprosthetic bacterial infection remains a major challenge for orthopedic and dental implants. Bacterial colonization/biofilm formation around implants and their invasion into the dense skeletal tissue matrices are difficult to treat and could lead to implant failure and osteomyelitis. These complications require major revision surgeries and extended antibiotic therapies that are associated with high treatment cost, morbidity, and even mortality. Effective preventative measures mitigating risks for implant-related infections are thus in dire need. This review focuses on recent developments of anti-periprosthetic infection strategies aimed at either reducing bacterial adhesion, colonization, and biofilm formation or killing bacteria directly in contact with and/or in the vicinity of implants. These goals are accomplished through antifouling, quorum-sensing interfering, or bactericidal implant surface topographical engineering or surface coatings through chemical modifications. Surface topographical engineering of lotus leaf mimicking super-hydrophobic antifouling features and cicada wing-mimicking, bacterium-piercing nanopillars are both presented. Conventional physical coating/passive release of bactericidal agents is contrasted with their covalent tethering to implant surfaces through either stable linkages or linkages labile to bacterial enzyme cleavage or environmental perturbations. Pros and cons of these emerging anti-periprosthetic infection approaches are discussed in terms of their safety, efficacy, and translational potentials.


antifouling coatings, bactericidal coatings, implant surface modifications, implant-related infections, surface topography

DOI of Published Version



Ghimire A, Song J. Anti-Periprosthetic Infection Strategies: From Implant Surface Topographical Engineering to Smart Drug-Releasing Coatings. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2021 May 12;13(18):20921-20937. doi: 10.1021/acsami.1c01389. Epub 2021 Apr 29. PMID: 33914499; PMCID: PMC8130912. Link to article on publisher's site

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

Journal/Book/Conference Title

ACS applied materials and interfaces

PubMed ID