Plasma Activation of a Breast Implant Shell in Conjunction with Antibacterial Irrigants Enhances Antibacterial Activity

Yoav Barnea*, Dennis C. Hammond, Yuval Geffen, Shiri Navon-Venezia, Keren Goldberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Infection and capsular contracture are two of the most significant complications of breast-implant surgery. Both complications are associated with bacterial contamination of the implant surface. Plasma activation of the surface of a silicone breast implant changes its surface properties from water repelling (hydrophobic) to water absorbing (hydrophilic), thus making it possible for antibacterial irrigants to temporarily adsorb onto the implant surface. Objectives To support our hypothesis that by changing the surface properties we could render antibacterial irrigation more effective in inhibiting bacterial growth on a breast implant shell. Methods An in vitro study using silicone discs cut from a textured silicone breast implant shell was performed by treating some of the discs with plasma activation and then exposing the discs to contamination with either Staphylococcus aureus or Pseudomonas aeruginosa and then variously treating the discs with 10% povidone iodine, Cefazolin, or Gentamicin. Bacterial contamination was verified and counted using contact plates as well as culture media. Results Plasma activation changed the wetting properties of the disc's surface from hydrophobic to hydrophilic. Nonplasma activated contaminated discs demonstrated clear bacterial growth both in the untreated group and in the antibacterial-treated group. Combining antibacterial treatment with plasma activation resulted in complete inhibition of bacterial growth in each of the groups treated with antibacterial irrigants. Conclusions Combining plasma activation with topical antibacterial irrigants can inhibit the growth of bacteria on implant shell discs. By changing the properties of the surface from hydrophobic to hydrophilic, the adsorption of the antibacterial irrigants is enhanced.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1188-1196
Number of pages9
JournalAesthetic Surgery Journal
Issue number11
StatePublished - 15 Oct 2018


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