How the choice of biologics might change in future surgery

September 28, 202011:18

The COVID-19 pandemic has refueled the discussion on the global overuse of antibiotics. The current situation indicates that reliable solutions to fight infection will steer the choice of biologics in future orthopedic surgery. Read our CTO’s viewpoint from a product development perspective, with back-up from the orthopedic field.

The World Health Organization has remained concerned about the declining investments and lack of innovation in the development of new antimicrobial treatments. In orthopedics, infection-related challenges are threatening the form of surgery that we know today. On the more optimistic side, it might be argued that COVID-19 has brought about a new level of awareness on antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Now that the world recognizes the importance of flattening pandemic curves, could the same be done with AMR?

“Antibiotics have served us well in the last century, but we are running into a multitude of problems with bacteria becoming increasingly resistant.”
MD Dr. Jan Geurts

 Antibiotics losing their effect

In an interview with Hospital Reports, MD Dr. Jan Geurts (Head of Bone infection treatment, Maastricht University Hospital) comments on the challenges with AMR in orthopedics:

“Antibiotics have served us well in the last century, but we are running into a multitude of problems with bacteria becoming increasingly resistant.”

As confirmed by Dr. Geurts, we are looking at a situation where current golden standards are being challenged by AMR. Infection treatment in the future will highly likely require novel and tailored approaches to compensate for the shortcomings of effective antibiotics. This makes the need to develop  new innovations even more time pressing.

Golden standards to the test

The resistance problem adds new challenges to bone infection treatment in orthopedics. However, with the arrival of new antibiotic-free bacterial growth inhibiting biologics, such as bioactive glass, bone infection surgery has gradually started to move into a one-stage procedure. The composition of bioactive glass, enables the material to protect itself from infection while forming new bone. Bioactive glass has thus become a viable option for the treatment of compromised bone. Switching to a one-stage procedure has other benefits as well, as recent studies demonstrate that bioactive glass may be considered a cost-effective solution.

With the increasing threat of AMR, it has become ever-more important to find new ways to fight bacterial infections and take new approaches seriously. New and sustainable solutions for infection treatment are needed. We must dare to set current golden standards to the test, otherwise AMR will do it for us.

To learn more about bioactive glass in bone infection surgery, read more here.


Jimmy Lucchesi

Chief Technology Officer

Bonalive Biomaterials Ltd



Hospital Reports: Interview with MD Dr. Jan Geurts

Read more about Bonalive granules in bone infection surgery