3) Cell and Tissue Engineering – Research Topics: Orthopedic Infections

Cell and Tissue Engineering Laboratory

Director: Dr. Matteo Moretti

Research Topics

Orthopedic Infections

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Orthopedic implants, prostheses, and open fractures are highly susceptible to infections and biofilm formation. These burdens require prompt prophylaxis and/or therapeutic approaches. To this end, we employ preclinical models of infection to test antimicrobial strategies for the prevention and treatments of biofilm implant-related infections. Specifically, along with new prophylaxis or therapeutic strategies, we evaluate the host response to pathogens and characterize microorganisms related to implant infections by employing imaging techniques, including micro-computed tomography, scanning electron microscopy, and confocal microscopy, to evaluate the biofilm deposition on tissues and orthopedic implants.

Moreover, the presence of biofilm makes the diagnosis of infection and the subsequent selection of apposite treatment particularly challenging. Profiling the protein expression of biofilm producing bacteria through proteomics is important to decipher the genetic basis of biofilm formation. Therefore, we investigate the regulatory mechanisms of biofilm-mediated infections by analyzing the protein expressed by bacteria when growing on implants, in order to identify potential diagnostic or therapeutic targets.