Lay summary

More and more implant materials can be inserted into the human body in order to serve medical and/or aesthetic purposes. Nevertheless, these body-foreign materials do not have a natural defence system as e. g. natural bones do. Therefore, the surfaces of implant materials are prone to bacterial adhesion and biofilm formation, thus bacterial infection. Very often, the infections cannot be eradicated by classical antibiotic therapy, and implants have to be removed and replaced with a long healing period in between.

After having proposed simple silver coordination polymers as coatings for metal implants, we are now investigating the deposition of silver compound in and on polymers used within the body. There are e. g. polyethylenegylcol, PEEK, silicones or polystyrenesulfonates which are being investigated in this respect. We study the incorporation of silver ions into the polymers as well as methods to coat silver coordination polymers to surfaces of polymers. The latter technique requires the functionalisation of the surface. In another approach, we attempt to increase the activity of silver ions by combining the metal ion effect with antibiotics in order to act in a synergic way. All material development approaches are combined with microbiological and biocompatibility tests.