Preclinical validation of a novel device designed to reduce biofilms on percutaneous osseointegrated abutments

Rachel Sammons, Matthew East, Melissa Grant, David Proops

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: To assess the efficacy of a prototype cleaning device in removing biofilm from skin-penetrating abutments.

Background: Adverse skin reactions around percutaneous osseointegrated implants have been linked to poor hygiene and infection. A cleaning device made from open-cell polyfoam has been developed to facilitate manual cleaning of abutments by the patient.

Methods: Serratia biofilm was grown on clean and sterile conical bone-anchored hearing system abutments including both pre-2007 (straight sided) and post-2007 (conical-sided) designs. Eighteen were photographed and then subjected to cleaning using a toothbrush or the cleaning device soaked in water or a proprietary mouthwash. Biofilm on a further group of 10 conical abutments was recorded using a scanning electron microscope before and after cleaning with the test device soaked in water. Quantitative analysis of the efficiency of the cleaning was made using image analysis.

Results: Removal of biofilm using a dry or wet toothbrush was not as effective as cleaning with the device. In 10 cases subjected to image analysis, approximately 90% of the biofilm was removed from the top third of the abutments, 85% from the middle third, and 48% from the basal third.

Conclusion: The cleaning device is effective in removing most biofilm from the test abutments and represents a significant improvement in comparison with traditional methods such as a toothbrush.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1116-1123
Number of pages8
JournalOtology & Neurotology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2019


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