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The newly developed dental implant is composed of a porous titanium–silica composite (Ti/SiO2) material and contains an internal reservoir that can be loaded with antimicrobial compounds. (Image: KU Leuven/Dr Kaat De Cremer)
0 Comments Feb 7, 2017 | News India

New implant releases antimicrobial drugs to fight infections

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LEUVEN, Belgium: Bacterial and fungal pathogens can form a biofilm on dental implants that is resistant to antimicrobial drugs like antibiotics. As a result, these implants pose a significant risk of infection. A multidisciplinary team of researchers at KU Leuven in Belgium has developed a dental implant that gradually releases such drugs from an integrated reservoir. The antimicrobial liquid could help prevent and fight infections

“Our implant has a built-in reservoir underneath the crown of the tooth,” explained lead author Dr Kaat De Cremer. “A cover screw makes it easy to fill this reservoir with antimicrobial drugs. The implant is made of a porous composite material, so that the drugs gradually diffuse from the reservoir to the outside of the implant, which is in direct contact with the bone cells. As a result, the bacteria can no longer form a biofilm.”

In the laboratory, the implant was subjected to various tests for use with chlorhexidine, a universal mouthwash with a powerful antimicrobial effect. The study shows that the Streptococcus mutans bacterium, a major contributor to tooth decay, is prevented from forming a biofilm on the surface of the implant when the reservoir is filled with the mouthwash. Furthermore, biofilms that were grown beforehand on the implant could be eliminated in the same way. This indicates that the implant would be effective in terms of both preventing and curing infections.

This study, titled “Controlled release of chlorhexidine from a mesoporous silica-containing macroporous titanium dental implant prevents microbial biofilm formation”, was published online in January in Volume 33 of the European Cells and Materials journal.

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