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Keywords:

  • jet impingement;
  • cell adhesion;
  • infection;
  • orthopaedic alloys;
  • fibroblasts;
  • bacteria;
  • SEM

Fibroblast and Staphylococcus aureus detachment strength from orthopaedic alloys and a tissue culture plastic (Thermanox) have been investigated with jet impingement. For S. aureus, unlike fibroblasts, detachment is caused more by pressure than shear. For these biomaterials, detachment strength is much higher for S. aureus than fibroblasts. Comparing materials under equivalent flow conditions, S. aureus attach to stainless steel and titanium with equal strength and more strongly than to Thermanox. For fibroblasts, detachment strength from all materials was similar. Fibroblast detachment strength from these biomaterials substantially decreases with time at equal flow rates and increases with flow rate at equal exposure times. Detachment strength is very similar for 3T3 and L929 fibroblasts on Thermanox for equivalent flow rate/time combinations, though enhanced adhesion of 3T3 cells was often noted for metals. Time effects are less evident for S. aureus. S. aureus adhesion to metals is more affected by flow rate than fibroblast adhesion.