The Infection Mechanism

In case of contamination of the implant surface, colonisation by pathogens results in formation of a barrier known as Biofilm.
Biofilm is an impervious polymeric matrix, able to make the bacterial colony resistant to antibiotic treatment and the patients immune system (1,2,3,4).

The infection mechanism follows three stages in quick succession

Immediately after surgery

Pathogens begin to adhere to the prosthetic surface.

Few minutes after surgery

Pathogens start to multiply and irreversibly fix themselves to the implant.

Few hours after surgery

In the absence of a reaction of the organism, the bacterial colony starts biofilm production.


  1. Costeron JW. How Bacteria Stick. Sci Am. 1978 Jan;238(1):86-95.
  2. Gristina AG et al. Bacterial adherence to biomaterials and tissue. The significance of its role in clinical sepsis. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1985 Feb;67(2):264-73.
  3. Gristina AG. Biomaterial-Centered Infection: Microbial Adhesion vs. Tissue Integration. Science. 1987 Sep 25;237(4822):1588-95.
  4. Gristina AG and Others. Infections from biomaterials and implants: a race for the surface. Med Prog Technol. 1988-1989;14(3-4):205-24.