Beyond conventional antibiotics — New directions for combination products to combat biofilm

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Medical device related infections are a significant and growing source of morbidity and mortality. Biofilm formation is a common feature of medical device infections that is not effectively prevented or treated by systemic antibiotics. Antimicrobial medical device combination products provide a pathway for local delivery of antimicrobial therapeutics with the ability to achieve high local concentrations while minimizing systemic side effects. In this review, we present considerations for the design of local antimicrobial delivery systems, which can be facilitated by modeling local pharmacokinetics in the context of the target device application. In addition to the need for local delivery, a critical barrier to progress in the field is the need to incorporate agents effective against biofilm. This article aims to review key properties of antimicrobial peptides that make them well suited to meet the demands of the next generation of antimicrobial medical devices, including broad spectrum activity, rapid and biocidal mechanisms of action, and efficacy against biofilm.

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