Evaluation of laser bacterial anti-fouling of transparent nanocrystalline yttria-stabilized-zirconia cranial implant. Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: The development and feasibility of a novel nanocrystalline yttria-stabilized-zirconia (nc-YSZ) cranial implant has been recently established. The purpose of what we now call "window to the brain (WttB)" implant (or platform), is to improve patient care by providing a technique for delivery and/or collection of light into/from the brain, on demand, over large areas, and on a chronically recurring basis without the need for repeated craniotomies. WttB holds the transformative potential for enhancing light-based diagnosis and treatment of a wide variety of brain pathologies including cerebral edema, traumatic brain injury, stroke, glioma, and neurodegenerative diseases. However, bacterial adhesion to the cranial implant is the leading factor for biofilm formation (fouling), infection, and treatment failure. Escherichia coli (E. coli), in particular, is the most common isolate in gram-negative bacillary meningitis after cranial surgery or trauma. The transparency of our WttB implant may provide a unique opportunity for non-invasive treatment of bacterial infection under the implant using medical lasers. STUDY DESIGN/MATERIALS AND METHODS: A drop of a diluted overnight culture of BL21-293 E. coli expressing luciferase was seeded between the nc-YSZ implant and the agar plate. This was followed by immediate irradiation with selected laser. After each laser treatment the nc-YSZ was removed, and cultures were incubated for 24 hours at 37C. The study examined continuous wave (CW) and pulsed wave (PW) modes of near-infrared (NIR) 810nm laser wavelength with a power output ranging from 1 to 3W. During irradiation, the temperature distribution of nc-YSZ surface was monitored using an infrared thermal camera. Relative luminescence unit (RLU) was used to evaluate the viability of bacteria after the NIR laser treatment. RESULTS: Analysis of RLU suggests that the viability of E. coli biofilm formation was reduced with NIR laser treatment when compared to the control group (P<0.01) and loss of viability depends on both laser fluence and operation mode (CW or PW). The results demonstrate that while CW laser reduces the biofilm formation more than PW laser with the same power, the higher surface temperature of the implant generated by CW laser limits its medical efficacy. In contrast, with the right parameters, PW laser produces a more moderate photothermal effect which can be equally effective at controlling bacterial growth. CONCLUSIONS: Our results show that E. coli biofilm formation across the thickness of the nc-YSZ implant can be disrupted using NIR laser treatment. The results of this in vitro study suggest that using nc-YSZ as a cranial implant in vivo may also allow for locally selective, non-invasive, chronic treatment of bacterial layers (fouling) that might form under cranial implants, without causing adverse thermal damage to the underlying host tissue when appropriate laser parameters are used. Lasers Surg. Med. 48:782-789, 2016. 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

published proceedings

  • Lasers Surg Med

altmetric score

  • 174.436

author list (cited authors)

  • Damestani, Y., De Howitt, N., Halaney, D. L., Garay, J. E., & Aguilar, G.

citation count

  • 8

complete list of authors

  • Damestani, Yasaman||De Howitt, Natalie||Halaney, David L||Garay, Javier E||Aguilar, Guillermo

publication date

  • January 2016