Background: Bacterial infection is a common and serious complication in orthopedic implants following traumatic injury, which is often associated with extensive soft tissue damage and contaminated wounds. Multidrug-resistant bacteria have been found in these infected wounds, especially in patients who have multi trauma and prolonged stay in intensive care units. Purpose: The objective of this study was to develop a coating on orthopedic implants that is effective against drug-resistant bacteria. Methods and results: We applied nanoparticles (30-70nm) of the trace element selenium (Se) as a coating through surface-induced nucleation-deposition on titanium implants and investigated the antimicrobial activity against drug resistant bacteria including Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus epidermidis (MRSE) in vitro and in an infected femur model in rats.The nanoparticles were shown in vitro to have antimicrobial activity at concentrations as low as 0.5ppm. The nanoparticle coatings strongly inhibited biofilm formation on the implants and reduced the number of viable bacteria in the surrounding tissue following inoculation of implants with biofilm forming doses of bacteria. Conclusion: This study shows a proof of concept for a selenium nanoparticle coatings as a potential anti-infective barrier for orthopedic medical devices in the setting of contamination with multi-resistant bacteria. It also represents one of the few (if only) in vivo assessment of selenium nanoparticle coatings on reducing antibiotic-resistant orthopedic implant infections.
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