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Visualization and characterization of bacterial biofilm on orthopaedic trauma explants


Bacterial infection presents an imposing challenge to orthopaedic trauma fracture repair, with infection rates of trauma patients ranging from 5 to 25%. Bacteria possess the ability to form biofilm, which makes them more resistant to antibiotic treatment and more effective at causing recurrent infection. Additionally, an orthopaedic device that becomes infected typically must be removed. Subsequent analysis to determine the bacterial colonization, adhesion, and species on the explant can take days, negatively impacting the efficacy and efficiency of possible treatment plans. Following removal of an infected device, accurately and quickly quantifying and characterizing biofilm on implants—as well as distinguishing biofilm-invested bacteria from normal cellular elements—remains a critical factor in designing and improving orthopaedic interventions and treatment that will fight infection and reduce biofilm formation. This project aims to investigate the use of confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) to effectively identify, visualize, and quantify bacterial biofilm growth on orthopaedic hardware removed from trauma patients due to infection.


Fox, Henry, "Visualization and characterization of bacterial biofilm on orthopaedic trauma explants" (2014). Summer Research Symposium. Brown Digital Repository. Brown University Library.



  • Summer Research Symposium

    Each year, Brown University showcases the research of its undergraduates at the Summer Research Symposium. More than half of the student-researchers are UTRA recipients, while others receive funding from a variety of Brown-administered and national programs and fellowships and go …