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About this book

This book covers the functionalisation of silicone surfaces with polysaccharides to improve their antimicrobial and antifouling properties, thus reducing the implant-related infections. The authors describe how silicone surfaces were chosen because silicone exhibits excellent biocompatible properties and is already being used for medical implants such as catheters, breast implants, prosthetics etc. The potential of polysaccharides such as cellulose, chitosan, hyaluronic acid, and other natural substances such as natural surfactants as coatings for silicones are also discussed, their effects are evaluated. With the aging of the population, the number of medical implants is growing and with it the number of infections associated with the use of implants.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Silicone in Medical Applications

Silicones are oligomers or polymers of organic siloxanes, which are products of organochlorosilanes [1]. The basis for all silicones is quartz sand or silica from which silicon is obtained in the first phase (Eq. 1.1).
Matej Bračič, Simona Strnad, Lidija Fras Zemljič

Chapter 2. Catheter Associated Urethral Tract Infections

Urethral catheters should satisfy variety of requirements connected to the specific application. Besides antifouling and antimicrobial properties, they should meet optimal mechanical properties, which are mostly related to the comfort during use. The comfort is extremely important since it is a direct indication of possible damage to the urethral mucosa.
Matej Bračič, Simona Strnad, Lidija Fras Zemljič

Chapter 3. Polysaccharides in Medical Applications

Polysaccharides are the most important organic raw materials, building blocks in several fields and machineries of life [1]. Since the 1980s, naturally occurring polysaccharides, represented by cellulose, have been re-evaluated as outstanding chemicals and/or materials with various uses. Natural polysaccharides from different sources exhibit some special characteristics at the molecular and supramolecular levels, which are associated with their hydrogen-bonding ability, side-group reactivity, which can be modified covalently or by ionic bonds, enzymatic degradability, chirality, semi-rigidity, etc.
Matej Bračič, Simona Strnad, Lidija Fras Zemljič

Chapter 4. Functionalisation of Silicones with Polysaccharides

A basic strategies to deal with the above described problems of CAUTI and biofilm formation is aimed toward modification of the implant’s surface-chemical properties, coating with a desired agent, and by manipulation of the surface roughness or morphology which can prevent the attachment of bacteria to the implant [1]. This chapter will be devoted predominantly to coating of silicon-based medical implants. Two strategies are common in coating of medical implants to achieve the above-mentioned goals.
Matej Bračič, Simona Strnad, Lidija Fras Zemljič

Chapter 5. Conclusions

The microbial biofilm-associated infections caused by medical devices` implantation are still a major healthcare related complication. Amongst them, UTI with a 23% share are the most frequent. Amongst all UTI infections, 80% are CAUTI, as catheters are being used by 10–25% of patients in long-term hospital care with an overall cost of around 395 million EUR/year and 2.550 EUR/treatment.
Matej Bračič, Simona Strnad, Lidija Fras Zemljič


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