Episode Summary

The biofilm that probiotic bacteria can leave behind on a titanium implant seems to help it integrate better with the existing skeleton, with less inflammation and risk of infection!

Microbe of the episode

Microbe of the episode: Methylobacterium organophilum

Jesse's takeaways

Skeletal implants make it a lot easier for many people to stay mobile as they age, but the surgical procedure of implanting is risky. Its invasive nature puts stress on the immune system, which puts stress on other systems, and the spread of antibiotic resistance is increasing the risk of a hard-to-treat infection.
In this study, probiotic bacteria grow in a biofilm on titanium implants before being inactivated, leaving only the biofilm behind on the implant. This biofilm-coated implant showed improved bone integration, antimicrobial resistance that was not toxic to the body's own tissues, and reduced inflammation when implanted into rats.

Journal Paper

Tan L, Fu J, Feng F, Liu X, Cui Z, Li B, Han Y, Zheng Y, Yeung KWK, Li Z, Zhu S, Liang Y, Feng X, Wang X, Wu S. 2020. Engineered probiotics biofilm enhances osseointegration via immunoregulation and anti-infection. Sci Adv 6:eaba5723.

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Porous interior of bone