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A smart coating with integrated physical antimicrobial and strain-mapping functionalities for orthopedic implants


The prevalence of orthopedic implants is increasing with an aging population. These patients are vulnerable to risks from periprosthetic infections and instrument failures. Here, we present a dual-functional smart polymer foil coating compatible with commercial orthopedic implants to address both septic and aseptic failures. Its outer surface features optimum bioinspired mechano-bactericidal nanostructures, capable of killing a wide spectrum of attached pathogens through a physical process to reduce the risk of bacterial infection, without directly releasing any chemicals or harming mammalian cells. On its inner surface in contact with the implant, an array of strain gauges with multiplexing transistors, built on single-crystalline silicon nanomembranes, is incorporated to map the strain experienced by the implant with high sensitivity and spatial resolution, providing information about bone-implant biomechanics for early diagnosis to minimize the probability of catastrophic instrument failures. Their multimodal functionalities, performance, biocompatibility, and stability are authenticated in sheep posterolateral fusion model and rodent implant infection model.

DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.adg7397