Do Bacteria and Biofilm Play a Role in Double-Capsule Formation around Macrotextured Implants?

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The double capsule is a complication mostly described in aggressive macrotextured implants. Mechanical shear stress applied onto an immature periprosthetic capsule has been linked to their formation. The authors aim to demonstrate the role of bacterial phenotype and biofilm in the development of the double capsule.


Seven double capsules formed at the interface of macrotextured breast expander implants were studied using scanning electron microscopy. Two samples for each surface of the inner capsule layer (the prosthesis interface and the intercapsular space) were analyzed for bacteria cell size, bacterial density, and biofilm deposition.


Although all routine bacterial cultures were negative, the prosthesis interface had both higher bacteria load and biofilm deposition compared with the intercapsular space (Mann-Whitney U test, p = 0.004 and p = 0.008, respectively). Moreover, bacteria cell sizes were significantly smaller at the prosthesis interface in six of seven samples. Comparison of bacteria density and biofilm dispersion showed an increase of biofilm extracellular matrix deposition over 2000 cells/mm2 (linear regression, p = 0.0025). These results indicate a common trend among bacteria species.


Bacterial expression between the different surfaces of the double capsule displays significant differences; bacteria at the prosthesis interface are mostly in a biofilm state, whereas they demonstrate a planktonic phenotype at the intercapsular space. When a sufficient amount of bacteria are present at a specific location, quorum sensing may trigger a biofilm phenotypic switch in planktonic bacteria cells. Biofilm formation may alter capsule formation through immune response, thereby weakening capsule strength and facilitating extracellular matrix delamination and double-capsule formation.


Therapeutic, V.

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