Infection associated with medical devices

M. M. Tunney*, S. P. Gorman, S. Patrick

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The use of temporary or permanent implants fabricated from polymeric biomaterials within the body has increased dramatically in recent years. Unfortunately, bacteria adhere to the surface of these medical devices, producing biofilms. Device-related infection may result in tissue destruction, systemic dissemination of the pathogen and dysfunction of the device, causing increased morbidity and mortality. These infections are resistant to immune defence mechanisms and are difficult to treat with antimicrobial agents. Removal of the device may be necessary with attendant distress to the patient and cost. Considerable research effort is currently directed towards reducing, if not eliminating, infection of medical devices. Strategies under investigation include the use of electric fields to improve antibiotic therapy, physiochemical modification of the biomaterial surface to create antiadhesive surfaces to prevent bacterial adhesion and incorporation of antimicrobial agents into medical device polymers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-205
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of General Systems
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 01 Feb 2002


  • Adhesion
  • Antibiotic resistance
  • Biofilm
  • Infection
  • Medical devices
  • Prostheses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Information Systems
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Computer Science Applications


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