An immobilized liquid interface prevents device associated bacterial infection in vivo


Chen J, Howell C, Haller CA, Patel MS, Ayala P, Moravec KA, Dai E, Liu L, Sotiri I, Aizenberg M, et al. An immobilized liquid interface prevents device associated bacterial infection in vivo. Biomaterials. 2017;113 :80-92.

Date Published:

September 2016


Virtually all biomaterials are susceptible to biofilm formation and, as a consequence, device-associated infection. The concept of an immobilized liquid surface, termed slippery liquid-infused porous surfaces (SLIPS), represents a new framework for creating a stable, dynamic, omniphobic surface that displays ultralow adhesion and limits bacterial biofilm formation. A widely used biomaterial in clinical care, expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE), infused with various perfluorocarbon liquids generated SLIPS surfaces that exhibited a 99% reduction in S. aureus adhesion with preservation of macrophage viability, phagocytosis, and bactericidal function. Notably, SLIPS modification of ePTFE prevents device infection after S. aureus challenge in vivo, while eliciting a significantly attenuated innate immune response. SLIPS-modified implants also decrease macrophage inflammatory cytokine expression in vitro, which likely contributed to the presence of a thinner fibrous capsule in the absence of bacterial challenge. SLIPS is an easily implementable technology that provides a promising approach to substantially reduce the risk of device infection and associated patient morbidity, as well as health care costs.


The authors acknowledge support from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Grant N66001-11-1-4180 and Contract HR0011-13-C-0025. This work was also in part funded by NIH T32 HL 008843-21A1 and the American College of Surgeons Resident Research Scholarship to Madhukar S. Patel as well as NIH T35 HL 110843 to Katherine A. Moravec. We thank the members of the Dr. Chaikof and Dr. Aizenberg lab for helpful discussions, as well as Jaakko Timonen and Thomas Ferrante for confocal microscopy assistance. We also thank the research and animal facilities at BIDMC and the Wyss Institute.

Last updated on 04/30/2018