Antimicrobial photodynamic therapy - a promising treatment for prosthetic joint infections

Timothy Briggs, Gordon Blunn, Simon Hislop, Rita Ramalhete, Caroline Bagley, David McKenna, Melanie Coathup

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

134 Downloads (Pure)


Periprosthetic joint infection (PJI) is associated with high patient morbidity and a large financial cost. This study investigated Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) as a means of eradicating bacteria that cause PJI, using a laser with a 665-nm wavelength and methylene blue (MB) as the photosensitizer. The effectiveness of MB concentration on the growth inhibition of methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA), methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Staphylococcus epidermidis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Acinetobacter baumannii was investigated. The effect of laser dose was also investigated and the optimized PDT method was used to investigate its bactericidal effect on species within planktonic culture and following the formation of a biofilm on polished titanium and hydroxyapatite coated titanium discs. Results showed that Staphylococci were eradicated at the lowest concentration of 0.1 mM methylene blue (MB). With P. aeruginosa and A. baumannii, increasing the MB concentration improved the bactericidal effect. When the laser dose was increased, results showed that the higher the power of the laser the more bacteria were eradicated with a laser power ≥ 35 J/cm2 and an irradiance of 35 mW/cm2, eradicating all S. epidermidis. The optimized PDT method had a significant bactericidal effect against planktonic MRSA and S. epidermidis compared to MB alone, laser alone, or control (no treatment). When biofilms were formed, PDT treatment had a significantly higher bactericidal effect than MB alone and laser alone for all species of bacteria investigated on the polished disc surfaces. P. aeruginosa grown in a biofilm was shown to be less sensitive to PDT when compared to Staphylococci, and a HA-coated surface reduced the effectiveness of PDT. This study demonstrated that PDT is effective for killing bacteria that cause PJI.

Original languageEnglish
JournalLasers in Medical Science
Early online date15 Dec 2017
Publication statusEarly online - 15 Dec 2017


Dive into the research topics of 'Antimicrobial photodynamic therapy - a promising treatment for prosthetic joint infections'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this