In vitro and in vivo methods to study bacterial colonization of hydrogel dermal fillers


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J Biomed Mater Res B Appl Biomater. 2022 Mar 30. doi: 10.1002/jbm.b.35050. Online ahead of print.


Preclinical in vitro and in vivo methods to study bacterial interactions with dermal fillers and infection pathogenesis are lacking. In this work, first in vitro methods to assess protein biofouling and effective pore size of commercial dermal fillers, including degradable hyaluronic acid (HA)-based fillers and other semi-degradable or permanent fillers (non-HA), were developed. The results were then related to Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) adhesion rates in vitro. HA fillers had less protein sorption than non-HA fillers and overall had smaller effective pore sizes. The properties correlated with levels of bacterial adhesion, where the control glass surface had the most rapid increase in bacterial cell adhesion, with a slope of 0.29 cm-2 min-1 , three unique non-HA fillers had intermediate adhesion with slopes of 0.11 and 0.06 cm-2 min-1 , and three unique HA fillers had the least adhesion with slopes of 0.02, 0.02, and 0.01 cm-2 min-1 . S. aureus had greater motility on the HA fillers than on non-HA fillers. Next, a mouse model for dermal filler biofilm and infection was developed. Mice were inoculated with a controlled amount of bioluminescent bacteria (Xen36 S. aureus) and polyacrylamide hydrogels of different stiffness were injected. In vivo bioluminescence was monitored longitudinally for 35 days to ensure that lasting colonization was established. The inoculum was optimized to achieve adequate bioluminescent signal, and bacterial bioburden over time and inter-animal variability in bioburden were determined. These in vitro and in vivo approaches can be used for future studies of antimicrobial interventions for dermal fillers.

PMID:35352867 | DOI:10.1002/jbm.b.35050

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