Implant infections are notoriously difficult to treat. They’re caused by biofilm – densely packed colonies of bacteria with increased resistance to antibiotics due to changes in gene regulation, molecular transport, and cell activity. Prior to the last two decades, improvements in surgical technique decreased the incidence of implant infections to 1-2%. However, a growing concern due to rising infection rates and increasing procedure volumes belies previous improvements. Studies show a rising incidence over the prior decade with an increase in rate by up to 9.5%. This correlates with rising rates of comorbidities like obesity and diabetes. Additionally, current age trends indicate a rise in the absolute number of procedures.
Currently, the gold standard is a two-stage revision – removal, an antibiotic regimen, and reconstruction. This highly-invasive process has a failure rate of up to 18% with a reinfection rate estimated at 8.8% in studies. The Greenberg and Chopra laboratories at UTSW discovered a novel method for treating prosthetic joint infections (PJIs) that is completely non-invasive and selective to biofilms. The method utilizes alternating magnetic fields (AMF) to achieve temperatures on the surface of metal implants sufficient to disrupt biofilm and kill bacteria. At Solenic, we’re using this new discovery to define a new standard for the treatment of PJIs. To learn more, see our Technology page.