Engineered Chimeric Peptides as Antimicrobial Surface Coating Agents toward Infection-Free Implants
O'Neill, Mary B.
Wilson, Brandon R.
Ören, Ersin Emre
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Prevention of bacterial colonization and consequent biofilm formation remains a major challenge in implantable medical devices. Implant-associated infections are not only a major cause of implant failures but also their conventional treatment with antibiotics brings further complications due to the escalation in multidrug resistance to a variety of bacterial species. Owing to their unique properties, antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) have gained significant attention as effective agents to combat colonization of microorganisms. These peptides have been shown to exhibit a wide spectrum of activities with specificity to a target cell while having a low tendency for developing bacterial resistance. Engineering biomaterial surfaces that feature AMP properties, therefore, offer a promising approach to prevent implant infections. Here, we engineered a chimeric peptide with bifunctionality that both forms a robust solid-surface coating while presenting antimicrobial property. The individual domains of the chimeric peptides were evaluated for their solid-binding kinetics to titanium substrate as well as for their antimicrobial properties in solution. The antimicrobial efficacy of the chimeric peptide on the implant material was evaluated in vitro against infection by a variety of bacteria, including Streptococcus mutans, Staphylococcus. epidermidis, and Escherichia coli, which are commonly found in oral and orthopedic implant related surgeries. Our results demonstrate significant improvement in reducing bacterial colonization onto titanium surfaces below the detectable limit. Engineered chimeric peptides with freely displayed antimicrobial domains could be a potential solution for developing infection-free surfaces by engineering implant interfaces with highly reduced bacterial colonization property.