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Laboratory on Implant Infections


The Laboratory on Implant Infections has been created, and is operating at the Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute as a dedicated structure, since year 2000. It represents the evolution of a first core of experimental research projects on bacterial adhesion to biomaterials and on the interfacial reactions between bacteria and implant materials; projects developed at the Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute since as early as 1986. The present Laboratory has prosecuted and expanded the initial research line with the study of the many pathology facets of the periprosthetic infection, acquiring in time a relevant stature at the international level.

The main research topics are the study of the etio-pathogenesis of implant-associated infections, the characterization of virulence factors (i.e. biofilm, adhesins, toxins) and antibiotic resistance traits of bacteria responsible for orthopaedic infections, the identification of epidemiological bacterial clones through molecular epidemiological studies, the interactions “osteoarticular tissues/bacterial biofilm/innate immunity cells” in the periprosthetic environment, the study of coatings and drugs designed to inhibit microbial adhesion, the research on new infection-resistant biomaterials favoring the osteo-integration.

The primary target of the Laboratory is to reach a better understanding of the pathogenesis of the implant infections and improvements of diagnoses, therapy and prevention.

The results of the experimental research assume translational value as they correlate with those regarding clinical outcome of the infection, type of implant, medical and surgical therapy, source and origin of infection and particular nosologic pictures having reference to new opportunistic pathogens.

Imagine S. aureus cell

Scientific collaborations

The Laboratory on Implant Infections has established scientific collaborations with:

  • Prof. Yuehuei H. An, Orthopaedic Research Laboratory, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, USA
  • Prof. Karsten Becker, Institute of Medical Microbiology, University of Münster, Münster, Germany.
  • Prof. J. William Costerton, Center for Biofilm Engineering, Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana, USA
  • Lucilla Baldassarri, Dipartimento di Malattie Infettive, Parassitarie ed Immunomediate, Istituto
  • Prof. Christof von Eiff, Institute of Medical Microbiology, University of Münster, Münster, Germany
  • Prof. Garth D. Ehrlich, Center for Genomic Sciences, Allegheny-Singer Research Institute, 320 East North Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
  • Prof. Katharina M. Fromm, Chemistry Department University of Fribourg, Switzerland
  • Prof. Gertrud M. Hänsch, Institute for Immunology, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany
  • Prof. Johannes Huebner, Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, University Hospital Freiburg, Germany and Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School Boston, MA, USA
  • Dr. Gilbert Legeay, Centre de Transfert de Technologies du Mans, Le Mans France
  • Dr. Fintan T. Moriarty, AO Research Institute Davos, AO Foundation, Davos – Switzerland
  • Prof. Ursula Obst, Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, Germany
  • Dr. Elisabeth Presterl, Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine I, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
  • Dr. José Luis del Pozo, Division of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology, Clínica Universitaria de Navarra, Pamplona, Spain
  • Prof. Robert G. Richards, AO Research Institute Davos, AO Foundation, Davos – Switzerland.
  • Prof. Pietro Speziale, Dipartimento di Biochimica, Università di Pavia, Italy
  • Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy
  • Prof. Joanna Verran, School of Healthcare Sciences, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, United Kingdom
  • Prof. Livia Visai, Laboratorio di Nanotecnologie, Fondazione Salvatore Maugeri, Pavia, Italy


Contacts and Locations


Secretary's office
tel. +39-051-6366791
fax +39-051-6366869

Where are our locations?

Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli

Centro di Ricerca Codivilla-Putti
via di Barbiano, 1/10
40136 Bologna (Italy)