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Detecting Infections of Explanted Orthopedic Devices

Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research
posted on 01/07/2011

Investigators at Mayo Clinic have developed improved methods for detecting infection of explanted orthopedic devices.

Suggested Uses

Infection detection in explanted orthopedic implants


•Improved sensitivity and specificity over existing methods
•Rapid detection
•May prevent unnecessary medical interventions and reduce costs

Innovation Details

Detailed Description

When prosthetic joints exhibit loosening, accurate determination of whether an infection is present and subsequent identification of the microbes responsible for the infection is critical to patient care. Culturing samples of periprosthetic tissue is the standard method used for the microbiologic diagnosis of prosthetic joint infection, but this method is neither sensitive nor specific. In prosthetic joint infection, microorganisms are typically present in a biofilm on the surface of the prosthesis.

Technology Description
Mayo Clinic investigators have developed a technology which includes processing explanted orthopedic devices using a sonication technique to increase sensitivity of detection. By rapidly removing biofilms from the surface of explanted orthopedic implants, the dislodged bacteria are suspended in solution and amenable to detection by culture or other rapid detection methods. Panels of organisms which would detect most cases of orthopedic implant infection are also described. This method, married to a rapid detection system, has the potential to report an infection in the operating theater within a relevant timeframe, thereby preventing a subsequent operation for the infection–negative patient.

Stage of Development: Clinical

File Number: 2009-189 

Other Information:
Microbiologic Diagnosis of Prosthetic Shoulder Infection by Use of Implant Sonication
J Clin Microbiol. 2009 Jun;47(6):1878-84. Epub 2009 Mar 4.

Sonication of Removed Hip and Knee Prostheses for Diagnosis of Infection
N Engl J Med. 2007 Aug 16;357(7):654-63

A Biofilm Approach to Detect Bacteria on Removed Spinal Implants
Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2010 May 20;35(12):1218-24

IP Protection

Patent Number(s): 2005/0241668

License Online

This innovation currently is not available for online licensing. Please contact Kelly Krajnik at Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research for more information.

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Case Manager:

Kelly Krajnik Kelly Krajnik

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February 11, 2009

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