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Bacteria-killing Viruses Could Make Medical Implants Safer

Medical implants like catheters and pacemakers can be a hotspot for bacteria, which grow in hard-to-treat films on the surface of such devices. Scientists and engineers are taking different approaches to changing the surface of implants so bacteria can’t take hold. For example, some groups are developing polymer films with structures that prevent bacterial growth (see “Pillowy Antibacterial Polymers”), while others are developing coatings that slowly release antibiotic compounds over time (see “Safer Joint Replacements” and “Innovators Under 35, 2007: Christopher Loose”). And now, researchers from Clemson University in South Carolina and the University of Southern Mississippi have described how a layer of bacteria-killing viruses could help prevent bacterial infections.

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