There is an unmet need for efficient and microbiological test protocols of engineered antimicrobial surfaces with predictiveness for the in vivo case. Advanced (multi phenotype, 3D) in vitro tests may be able to complement the in vivo approaches. These systems can reveal the detailed responses of relevant cell types (in combinations) to biomaterials, and are pivotal for initial testing of antimicrobial actives.

To study the initial immune responses to biomaterials in a whole animal with high throughput capacity, zebrafish embryos (in vitro) models are an attractive new platform, particularly since immunity genes and regulatory pathways of the zebrafish show good resemblance to those of humans. Use of the zebrafish embryo model for biomaterial-associated infection and immune responses has recently been demonstrated.

The following Challenges have been identified (selected)

  • in vitro (multicell type 3D) models to assess biomaterials-cell interactions and efficacy of antimicrobial actives and systems;
  • in vitro microbiological test conditions that better reflect bacterial contamination of implants with typically only a few bacteria transferred from the patients skin to the implant during surgery;
  • in vivo real time sensing of foreign body reaction and biomaterial-associated infection in mouse models;
  • use of the zebrafish model for efficacy testing of antimicrobial systems for biomaterials, with possibility of high throughput testing/screening;
  • predictive modeling of interactions;
  • sensing, diagnostics of infections.


Working Group 1

Working Group on Antimicrobial Material & Surface Strategy

Working Group 2

Working Group on Antimicrobial Active Compounds

Working Group 3

Working Group on in vitro Testing, Sensing and Modeling

Working Group 4

Working Group on in vivo Testing and Preclinical Studies

Working Group 5

Working Group on Clinical Background and Needs