Caused by planktonic and biofilm drug-resistant bacteria on implants, periprosthetic joint infections (PJI) is one of the most devastating complication in orthopedics and is in line with forecasted rise in joint replacement. From the perspectives of patients, surgeons, hospitals, and health care system, PJI thus present a great unmet medical need, resulting in high morbidity, and even mortality, among affected patients. Therefore, clinicians would find invaluable a technology with a potential to manage PJI on implants.
In 2014-2015, there were over 100,000 hip and knee replacement operations in Canada. Among these, more than 8,500 of these procedures had to be repeated. The main cause of failure was due to bacterial infections at the surface of the implants. Furthermore, this problem is likely to get worse over time due to antibiotic resistance phenomena in bacteria. We propose the development of a surface modification of the implants using bacteriophages, a class of viruses that only targets bacteria.
The aim of this project is therefore to develop polymer-based formulations of bacteriophages to combat microbial infections. Bacteriophages are a class of viruses specific to bacteria that are not subject to antibiotic resistance and are the most prevalent organisms of the human virome, and therefore safe.2 We will use different polymer compositions and blends to create novel bacteriophage formulations that are designed for use in medical applications, particularly in the use of surgical materials such as orthopedic implants and sutures.
Join a thriving innovation ecosystem. Subscribe now